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Officers investigating Anaconda death capture suspect

May 16, 2018

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A probationer wanted for questioning in the death of an Anaconda woman was taken into custody near Butte Wednesday, but not before he crashed a car, an officer fired shots at him and another officer shocked him with a stun gun.

Troy Douglas Johnson, 51, was apprehended Wednesday morning, hours after Shelley Schafer, 64, was found dead of a head injury in her residence in Anaconda.

“In my opinion, I think he probably wanted to end it in a hail of gunfire and realistically, he damn near got his wish,” Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester told The Montana Standard .

Anaconda police checking on Schafer, at the request of a friend, found her dead early Tuesday afternoon. Her car, some jewelry, cash and credit cards were missing.

Officers began looking for Johnson after his driver’s license was found in the other half of the duplex where Schafer lived, Anaconda-Deer Lodge Police Chief Tim Barkell said.

Johnson was spotted in a vehicle in Butte at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. During a traffic stop a female driver and Johnson got out of the vehicle, Johnson reached into his waistband as if he had a weapon before getting back in the car and speeding away, Lester said. The woman was taken into custody for questioning.

Johnson lost control of the car while going around a corner and rolled it in someone’s yard, hitting a tree.

As an officer approached, Johnson got out, crouched in a shooting position and pointed what appeared to be a weapon. The officer fired multiple times, but didn’t hit Johnson, Lester said.

Johnson then ran away.

Officers spotted Johnson again at around 7 a.m. and took him into custody after a lengthy foot chase ended when he was hit with a stun gun, Lester said.

The officer who fired at Johnson was placed on paid leave while the shooting is investigated, Lester said.

Johnson has two convictions for partner or family member assault and was released from prison in February 2017. He was supposed to be under the supervision of Billings Probation and Parole, but may have been living in Anaconda for around two months, Barkell said.

Johnson remained in custody in Butte on Wednesday and they were waiting for him to get back to Anaconda to file a deliberate homicide charge against him, Barkell said. Schafer’s body was sent for an autopsy.

Butte-Silver Bow County officials did not return phone calls seeking to learn if Johnson faced charges there or if he had an attorney.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

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