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Deputy who shot, killed man is identified

2013-06-03T00:00:00Z 2013-12-04T00:05:11Z Deputy who shot, killed man is identifiedBy SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record Helena Independent Record
June 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a 62-year-old man last Wednesday in the east Helena Valley has been identified as Matthew Reighard, 31.

Douglas Francis Harper, 62, was wanted for arson in Musselshell County and had expressed suicidal thoughts in the last few weeks, according to court documents.

Deputies responded to Moore Court, just off Canyon Ferry Road, on May 29 to perform a welfare check on Harper.

Harper was sitting in his vehicle with a handgun and pointed it at the deputy, County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Thursday. He did not comply with orders to drop the weapon and the deputy fired his, Dutton said.

Reighard served in the U.S. Army with two deployments to Afghanistan, Dutton said. He began with the sheriff’s office for about three years as a detention officer before swearing in as a deputy in December 2007.

He had been a detective with the multi-agency Missouri River Drug Task Force and was rotated into patrol duties about two months ago, Dutton said.

“No law enforcement officer comes to work wanting to fire their weapon at a person, but each day they know it could be a possibility, to defend their life, or of another,” Dutton said in an email to reporters Sunday. “These events are hard on everyone involved.”

Reighard has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in shootings involving an officer.

Dutton said the office’s internal investigation is expected to be completed Wednesday, assisted by the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation is assisting with the investigation.

More details of the incident will be released during an inquest conducted by County Coroner Mickey Nelson.

Copyright 2014 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. FortheONE
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    FortheONE - June 06, 2013 3:52 pm
    My thoughts and prayers to all involved.
  2. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - June 03, 2013 11:16 am
    My thoughts go out to this deputy. Taking a life is no small thing.
  3. carlatevis
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    carlatevis - June 02, 2013 7:38 pm
    Thank the lord Matt was not injured nor any of the other deputies, Our world is becoming more and more violent as is our community and these incidents seem to be increasing,
    We are very fortunate to have a great law enforcement team in both Helena and L&C co.
    I pray for Matt and his family as this is a very difficult time for them.
    Thank you Matt and all LEO's who protect us.
  4. steeline
    Report Abuse
    steeline - June 02, 2013 6:35 pm
    Sorry Sanjay Talwani, Helena isn't going to make an issue out of either shooting. NBC,ABC,CNN or other left wing news people are not going to call you for a live national report on gun violence in Helena.

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