South Carolina native killed in the line of duty in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. (WCBD/AP) – A southwestern Montana sheriff’s deputy was killed in a shootout with two suspects during a traffic stop Tuesday morning.

Authorities say Broadwater County deputy Mason Moore was pursuing a vehicle when dispatchers lost contact with him at about 3 a.m. May 16 near the town of Three Forks.

According to Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Gallatin County and Montana Highway Patrol officers responded and found the 38-year-old dead by the side of the road.

The suspect vehicle was spotted near Anaconda. Officers deployed spike strips and the sport utility vehicle eventually stopped about 35 miles east of Missoula.

The passenger, later identified as Marshall Barrus, 38, of Belgrade, Montana, got out and shot at officers who returned fire. He was taken to the hospital. The driver, the shooter’s father, Lloyd Barrus, 61, was arrested on suspicion of deliberate homicide.

Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Donnie Drose confirmed that Moore worked with the sheriff’s office between 2007 and 2011. He started there as a deputy and became an investigator by the end of his tenure. “He was a very good person, and I don’t think you’d find anybody better,” Drose said. “Yesterday was a sad day for the Sheriff’s Office.”

The Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office also shared this message on Facebook.

The Broadwater County sheriff’s office says 38-year-old Mason Moore had been a deputy for three years.

He had also worked for the University of South Carolina Police Department and was a former Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. USCPD issued their condolences on Twitter.

The Summerton native is survived by his wife and three children.

Officers from numerous jurisdictions joined a procession at mid-day Tuesday to escort Moore’s body from Three Forks to Billings for an autopsy.

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