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UPDATE 9:07 p.m. :

GREAT FALLS - A Glasgow hospital official says the woman killed in a sniper-style shooting in the hospital’s parking lot had just returned from an emergency call when she was shot in the back.

The victim, 37-year-old Melissa Greenhagen, was a part-time emergency medical technician and Valley County’s clerk of state District Court.

Clay Berger, emergency medical services director at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, told the Great Falls Tribune that Greenhagen was walking to her car when she was fatally shot Saturday evening.

A female nurse and her husband were wounded after rushing to her aid. The two haven’t been identified.

The three victims were shot about 50 yards from the hospital’s emergency room entrance. The hospital was locked down until about 1 a.m. with about 40 to 50 staff and an undetermined number of patients inside.

Officers killed the suspect after two gun battles - one outside the hospital and another at a nearby house where the suspect fled after being injured. Investigators were still trying to identify the suspect Monday.

Glasgow Police Chief Lyndon Erickson and Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier said they have requested assistance from the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

The bodies of Greenhagen and the suspect will be transported to the Montana Crime Lab in Missoula for autopsies, authorities said.

The town of about 3,500 people is located about 50 miles south of the Canadian border.

Authorities locked down the hospital and a nearby high school basketball game following the shooting and suspended train traffic along the BNSF railway until the suspect was found.

Meier and Erickson said it was the first homicide in the Glasgow area in 15 years.

UPDATE 3 p.m. :

Authorities have been unable to identify the man who opened fire at a hospital, killing a woman and wounding two other peo-ple. The suspect later died.

Valley County Public Information Officer Samar Fay said in a statement today that Glasgow police are “not withholding the identity of the shooter; they actually don’t know who he is.”

Fay, who is also the editor at the Glasgow Courier newspaper, said she will speak with Glasgow Police Chief Lynn Erickson later today to determine whether any more details of the investigation will be released today.

The names of the surviving victims have not been released.

The shooting late Saturday afternoon is being investigated by the Glasgow Police Department with assistance from the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and the state Division of Criminal Investigation. State authorities referred all questions to the Glasgow Police Department.


Suspect in Montana slaying dead

By MATTHEW BROWN

Associated Press

GLASGOW - State investigators were trying Sunday to unravel what they termed a sniper-style shooting at a hospital that left a woman and the suspect dead and two others wounded.

The homicide - Glasgow's first in more than a decade - shook residents and left authorities searching for a possible motive.

Melissa Greenhagen, 37, of Glasgow, a part-time emergency medical technician and clerk of state district court in Valley County, was killed in the Saturday evening shooting in the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital parking lot, police said.

Authorities said a female nurse and her husband were wounded after rushing to aid the woman. They were both listed in stable condition at the hospital but were not immediately identified.

Police said the suspect was later killed in a shooting involving police who followed a trail of blood to a house just south of town. The massive search for the man ended at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Investigators were trying to identify the suspect and find a link between the suspect and Greenhagen.

The bodies of Greenhagen and the suspect will be transported to the Montana Crime Lab in Missoula for autopsies, authorities said.

Glasgow Police Chief Lyndon Erickson and Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier said they have requested assistance from the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate the homicide and officer involved shooting.

Residents described how word of the shooting spread quickly through Glasgow, prompting homeowners to lock their doors and in some cases arm themselves. The town of about 3,500 people is about 50 miles south of the Canadian border.

"Everybody knew who was killed, and everybody knew who was hurt," said Marie Penderson, a bartender who said she was an acquaintance of the victims. "We were all saying she couldn't be dead. We refused to believe it."

Authorities locked down the hospital and a nearby high school basketball game following the shooting and suspended train traffic along the BNSF railway until the suspect was found. No other suspects were being sought, Meier said Sunday.

Meier and Erickson said it was the first homicide in the Glasgow area in 15 years.

"This has shocked all of us. Glasgow is a place you feel comfortable raising your family," said Randy Holom, chief executive of the hospital.

Holom said he was at the hospital's annual holiday party about three blocks away when he got a call about the shooting.

"When I got the call I thought it was a drill," he said.

The three victims were shot about 50 yards from the hospital's emergency room entrance. The hospital was locked down until about 1 a.m. with about 40 to 50 staff and an undetermined number of patients inside.

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