An incident that started as a tequila-fueled home burglary turned into a dramatic – and deadly – situation that involved a stolen police cruiser, an officer hit by a car and a fatal shooting.
Daniel Brawley, 29, and his wife were arrested on suspicion of breaking into a home in Billings, Montana. Somehow, while in the back of a police car, he slipped out of his handcuffs, got into the front seat of the patrol car, backed into a tree, and started driving away.
Dashcams in nearby police cars captured parts of what happened next. Brawley then struck officer Dave Punt, knocking him to the ground as he sped away. Not seriously injured, Punt then fired nine times at the cruiser, according to the Helena Independent Record.
KRTV.com reported that Brawley was "likely" killed by a single shot to the torso, but that was not confirmed. Police Chief Rich St. John said the shooting was justified in a press conference, and said Punt would likely be back on duty in a week.
Heather Brawley, who was in a separate police car at the time of the incident, has been arraigned on a felony burglary charge. She pleaded not guilty.
Citing court records, the Great Falls Tribune reported the Brawleys hid in a crawlspace with a loaded shotgun until a SWAT team arrived and a police officer negotiated their surrender.
Heather Brawley, who has no previous criminal record, told investigating officers the couple had broken into the house, showered, ate and drank tequila, according ot the court records. They had changed into the homeowner's clothing. They intended to wash their own clothes at the residence, but the owner's girlfriend stopped by and found the couple inside, sparking the situation.
Though Brawley was able to steal this police cruiser, we doubt that he'd be able to do so in one of these new, high-tech cop cars that are starting to hit the road. Check out the future of police cars: