A 33-year-old Helena man was arrested Thursday on a warrant for assault with a weapon after another man was shot in the chest with a rubber bullet the day before, prompting officers to use a SWAT team and divert traffic, police said.
Kacey S. Gessner was being held on $50,00 bail and also arrested on a misdemeanor failure to appear warrant for $5,000, authorities said.
Officers responded about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to the 600 block of Euclid Avenue after a 31-year-old Helena man stated he had been shot. Police learned the man was at a residence in the 1900 block of Euclid Avenue and got into a dispute with another man and was shot in the chest with a “rubber bullet” from a shotgun.
The suspect told the victim that the next shot would be with a real shell, police said. He also allegedly stated that he would shoot any law enforcement officers who tried to stop him.
The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries by an ambulance team and said he would drive himself to the hospital. Officers tried to contact the occupants of the residence without success. A search and arrest warrant was obtained, police said.
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About 5 p.m. Thursday, when all attempts to get the suspect to turn himself in failed, the Joint Helena Police/Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Department SWAT team was deployed, authorities said.
Traffic on Euclid Avenue and in the area was diverted for about 30 minutes while the residence was secured, authorities said. The suspect was arrested by about 5:30 p.m. and vehicle traffic returned to normal.
The investigation is continuing. No further information was immediately available.
Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.