MISSOULA — Authorities have released the name of a Hamilton man who was killed in a weekend shootout with a police officer.
Raymond Thane Davis, 36, died as a result of a single gunshot wound, said Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman, who served as coroner in the case.
According to a statement from Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster, Davis fired a gun at the officer during a routine traffic stop early Saturday morning.
Davis is a registered violent offender with a criminal history going back 10 years, including a felony conviction for assault on a police officer.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, Hamilton police responded to a report of criminal mischief involving Davis, according to Oster’s statement. Two officers spoke with Davis and determined there were no grounds for a citation. The officers said Davis appeared to be intoxicated and told him not to drive.
Less than an hour later, Hamilton police officer Ross Jessop stopped Davis for a traffic violation at the intersection of Highway 93 and Adirondack Street. Jessop got out of his car, approached Davis’ vehicle, and began talking with Davis.
“Davis pulled a gun and fired at the officer, Officer Jessop returned fire and hit Davis,” Oster said.
Davis then sped east in his vehicle on Fairgrounds Road and hit a utility box and a building at the Ravalli County Road Shop. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Missoula Police Department is conducting the investigation into the incident, as per department policy.
“When there is an incident such as this, it is department policy to call in an outside agency to investigate,” Oster said in the statement. “The Missoula Police Department has trained detectives for officer-involved shootings. It is important that we have an independent investigation for the way we conduct our operations.”
“As part of standard operating procedure, Officer Jessop has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” the statement continues.
The Missoula Police Department will complete its investigation, evidence will be processed at the State Crime Lab in Missoula, and eventually there will be a coroner’s inquest by John Pohle, Powell County Coroner, as required by state law, Oster said.
Jessop has been employed by the Hamilton Police Department for 13 months, Oster said, and completed training at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.
“It is always tragic when there is a loss of life. Our primary concern is for public safety and the safety of our officers. I know that Officer Jessop responded in a professional and appropriate manner in an extremely dangerous situation,” Oster said.
Reporter Tristan Scott can be reached at 523-5264 or at email@example.com.