Updated: BPD Issues Statement on Birch Lane Standoff
Update as of 8:30 AM, 3/20/2023:
The Billings Police Department issued the following release over the weekend, detailing the entire event. (Source: Administrative Lieutenant Matt Lennick)
On March 18, 2023, at approximately 7:06 am Billings Police responded to a weapons complaint at a residence in the 700 block of Birch. Information to Officers was that the suspect was shooting from her residence into neighboring residences after posting threats on social media. Initial investigation indicated the weapon being used initially was a small caliber or possibly a high-powered air rifle that was capable of penetrating exterior windows.
Officers were also advised by witnesses the suspect was possibly armed with other firearms.
Patrol Officers began containment of the area and BPD SWAT and negotiators were activated. Officers attempted contact with the suspect for approximately two hours with no cooperation from the suspect. At approximately 10:45 am Officers with BPD SWAT attempted to deliver a throw phone to the suspect in an attempt to establish a
line of communication. The suspect fired at Officers, striking one Officer. Officers returned fire but the suspect was able to retreat into the residence unharmed. The injured Officer was evacuated from the scene and is receiving medical treatment at a local hospital.
Supporting agencies were asked to respond to assist. While Officers continued to make contact with the suspect the suspect continued firing rounds at Officers. Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene immediately and Gallatin County and Lewis and Clark County SWAT were requested and responded.
Throughout the standoff, SWAT personnel took actions to contain and control the suspect’s movements within the residence while negotiators continued to work on contacting the suspect and working with her in an attempt to
convince her to surrender.
The suspect was barricaded in the center of the residence and remained un-cooperative with requests for surrender. Billings Fire Department was able to supply the tactical teams with a fire hose and the teams were able to effectively introduce water into the residence where the suspect was barricaded. This caused the suspect to
become cooperative and surrender without any further incident.
The suspect has been identified as Mary White Crane, a 57-year-old Billings resident. White Crane is currently in custody at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility for the charges of three (3) counts of felony criminal endangerment, two (2) counts of criminal mischief and one (1) count of attempted deliberate homicide.
Today, at 10:01 AM, BPD Tweeted they have closed Birch Lane in Billings for an active scene. Officers responded to a complaint of a suspect shooting out of their home into neighboring homes.
BPD SWAT is on the scene and officers are attempting to make contact with the suspect.
BPD asks residents to avoid the area at this time.
As more information is released, this article will be updated.