Missoula, MT (WLTX, AP) - A Clarendon County native who worked as a Montana sheriff's deputy has died after he was shot by a suspect following a traffic stop.
Deputy Mason Moore, who worked for the Broadwater County, Montana Sheriff's Department, was killed Tuesday morning near the town of Three Forks.
Moore is from Summerton, South Carolina and worked for the Clarendon County Sheriff's Department from 2007-2011.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin says Moore was pursuing a vehicle on U.S. Highway 287 when dispatchers lost contact with him at about 3 a.m. Mountain Time Tuesday.
Gootkin tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that Gallatin County and Montana Highway Patrol officers responded and found the deputy dead by the side of the road. The suspect vehicle was spotted near Anaconda. Officers deployed spike strips and the sport utility vehicle eventually stopped about 35 miles east of Missoula.
Gootkin says the passenger, 39-year-old Marshall Barrus, got out and shot at officers who returned fire. He was taken to the hospital. The driver, 61-year-old Lloyd Barrus, the shooter's father, was arrested.
Lloyd Barrus, was arrested on suspicion of deliberate homicide.
Moore was a husband and a father of three children.
"It is a Sheriff's worst nightmare to lose one of their people<" Gootkin said in a statement. "We will do whatever we can to help and support the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office and the families impacted by this tragic incident. This is a horrible reminder of what a dangerous and difficult profession law enforcement is. During this week of remembrance, please do me a favor and smile and wave when you see a peace officer - we could use it!"