The apparent home intruder who died Wednesday after being shot by the homeowner has been identified as Henry Thomas Johnson III, 37, of Helena.
Lewis and Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson said Johnson died Wednesday from a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Patrol Capt. Jason Grimmis of the Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office said dispatchers received a 911 call at about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday from the homeowner at 4276 Canyon Ferry Road, near the intersection with Ranger Drive.
The homeowner reported arriving home to find a suspicious car at the residence, and then entered the residence and encountered the intruder, Grimmis said.
The homeowner shot his gun and the intruder was hit, Grimmis said. The intruder was able to exit the home through a window and enter his Ford Taurus, and then crashed it into a fence on the property.
Grimmis said he anticipated a lengthy investigation of the scene. He said the homeowner was participating in the investigation.
Grimmis said deputies were investigating whether the incident had any connection with at least two reported burglaries at other homes in the area Wednesday.
Sheriff’s deputies, the Montana Highway Patrol and Tri-Lakes Fire Department responded, along with the county coroner.
Under the state’s self-defense law, known as the “Castle Doctrine,” a person is allowed to use deadly force against an unlawful or uninvited intruder if the person believes the intruder might harm the resident. The homeowner does not have to retreat from the intruder. It’s unclear whether the Castle Doctrine may apply in this case.