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Michael Lee Roope

Michael Lee Roope

A 39-year-old Helena man was arrested near Clancy early Thursday morning for allegedly shooting at and attempting to run over two people north of Helena on Wednesday. 

Michael Lee Roope was arrested on suspicion of four felony counts of assault with a weapon.

Lewis and Clark County dispatch received a call from a male victim at 7:22 p.m. Wednesday. He and a female victim reported returning from a walk below Hauser Dam and seeing Roope parked a short distance away, said Sheriff Leo Dutton.

The victims reportedly told authorities that Roope accelerated toward them. The female victim reported stepping out of the way to avoid being struck by the vehicle and the male victim threw a can of iced tea at the vehicle.

At that point, the victims allege that Roope raised a firearm and fired through his own windshield in the direction of the male victim, Dutton said. The male victim was not hit by the bullet but the female victim reported being hit with glass. Dutton said she was later treated but did not have information on the extent of any injuries.  

Roope then allegedly drove away before turning around and driving back toward the victims, and they jumped over an embankment to avoid being hit, Dutton said.

Law enforcement responded to the area and located Roope’s truck with what appeared to be a bullet hole through the windshield. He was not found during a subsequent search of the area, Dutton said, and the truck was impounded.

Roope was later seen in Jefferson County about a mile from Clancy. Deputies from both counties arrested him without incident early Thursday, Dutton said.

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Roope was taken to the Jefferson County Detention Center and will be transferred to Lewis and Clark County to face charges.

Dutton said authorities are investigating other aspects of the case that could not be disclosed at this time. Thursday evening, Dutton said the firearm, a revolver, was recovered.

Roope is on parole from a 2016 conviction of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute.

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