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Osburn PD investigating armed robbery

by JOSH McDONALD
Local Editor | March 21, 2023 1:00 AM

OSBURN — An automobile theft in Seattle on Friday night led to a hostage situation in Montana on Saturday, but it’s what happened in-between that has the Osburn Police Department investigating.

At roughly 8:30 a.m. a male and female suspect entered the 76 gas station on the corner of North Third Street and East Mullan Avenue in Osburn. The gas station attendant realized the male suspect had a weapon and then he subsequently demanded that the attendant give him all of the money on the premises.

This all occurred while two other suspects, a male and female, were seemingly asleep in the stolen silver-colored Hyundai Sonata.

Upon their departure, authorities were notified of the armed robbery and law enforcement including the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office began pursuing the vehicle.

According to reports, the Montana Highway Patrol was notified of the situation and made the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office aware of the situation.

Mineral County Undersheriff Wayne Cashman reported that around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday the MCSO had received a report of a car that was abandoned at the sewer plant in St. Regis matching the description of the stolen vehicle.

It was also reported that two suspects, a male and female, had exited the vehicle where the female went to a nearby motel, while the male made his way to the St. Regis Travel Center.

The female suspect was taken into custody by the deputies without incident — but when deputies attempted to make contact with the male in the travel center, he brandished a firearm and took a hostage.

Deputies ordered the man to lower his gun, but he responded by pushing the hostage to the ground and shooting them twice according to undersheriff Cashman.

It was at this point that law enforcement fired on the suspect — killing him.

The victim is still recovering in Missoula.

Osburn Police Chief Darell Braaten was in Montana on Monday, working the local aspect of this investigation — this includes interviewing the remaining suspect(s), as well as obtaining a search warrant for the vehicle.

Braaten explained that the investigation is still in its early stages and that there is likely a lot more to come.

The remaining two passengers that had been seen in Osburn, were arrested near St. Regis and jailed on unrelated charges, according to MCSO.

"All suspects are accounted for and the investigation has been turned over to the Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation," Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson reported Saturday afternoon.

The remaining suspects will likely face numerous charges in Montana, Idaho and Washington.

Osburn police, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office, Mineral and Sanders County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Montana Highway Patrol all assisted in the pursuit, standoff and apprehension of the suspects.