Wyoming man arrested after carjacking, chases, shootings
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Wyoming man is in custody after Billings police say he led them on a 50-minute pursuit around the city that included 10 crime scenes and involved five stolen vehicles, three law enforcement agencies, occasional gunfire and a lot of property damage.
Police Chief Rich St. John said Tuesday it is amazing that no one was hurt or killed during the incident, including the suspect, Ryan McElmury of Cody, Wyoming.
Charges are pending against McElmury, 41, who is being held in the Yellowstone County jail. Jail officials did not know if he had an attorney.
Officers responded to a business break-in just after 10 p.m. Monday and encountered two men, St. John said. One surrendered and the other, believed to be McElmury, fled on foot.
What followed, St. John said, was 50 minutes of carnage “akin to a Hollywood action movie.”
The suspect broke into buildings and houses, demanded keys and carjacked two vehicles at gunpoint. With officers pursuing him, he was able to find two vehicles with keys in them.
Officers twice fired shots at him, once when he was reportedly driving the first stolen vehicle toward an officer and again shortly before he surrendered when he drove toward officers a second time.
Two police officers, a sheriff’s deputy and a Montana Highway Patrol officer are on paid administrative leave while the shootings are investigated.
Six police cars will be out of service for a while, St. John said.
Collateral damage included business windows that were shot out, a picture window at a house that was broken, several fences that were driven through, two occupied mobile homes that were hit by gunfire, other vehicles that were damaged and at least one garage door that he backed through, St. John said.
“This was a serious, serious situation and I’m so very happy, but surprised, that nobody got hurt,” St. John said. “With the distances that were traveled, the speeds and the time, not to mention gunfire.”
McElmury was not hit by gunfire, but suffered minor injuries at some time during the pursuit, St. John said.
If McElmury hadn’t fled from the first break-in “he would have been charged with a burglary,” the police chief said.