Police Shooting Victim Identified at a Press Conference on Thursday; Officers Placed on Administrative Leave
35-year-old Frank Cogar was identified on Thursday as the individual who was shot and killed by Missoula Police Officers at the Hollywood Trailer Court on Wednesday. At a press conference on Thursday, interim chief Mike Colyer described how the shooting occurred. He said officers spent nearly 30 minutes attempting to get Cogar to drop his weapon before he was shot.
"Ultimately, 25 minutes into this exchange between them, the male presented such an immediate threat to the officers that they made a split-second, life-or-death decision to protect themselves.Three of the officers fired at the male, striking him several times with rounds from their department-authorized firearms. The male immediately fell to the ground."
Following the shooting, the officers moved Cogar to a secure area to begin treating his wounds.
"They got him out of that unsecured area right at the shooting scene to the West end of the 1700 Block of Cooley, where they rendezvoused with paramedics from the Missoula Fire Department and Missoula Emergency Services Incorporated," Colyer stated. "They handed the male off into the good care of those professionals, who provided some initial treatment on scene and then transported him to St. Patrick's medical hospital, where he was later declared dead."
Colyer said all of the officers involved in the incident will return to work on Monday, except for the three officers who discharged their weapons.
"All the officers who were directly involved in the incident yesterday were off today. This was their last day of the week and then they have the weekend," Colyer said. "After that, we will reassess return of duty for the officers who were directly involved and on administrative leave today, except for the three that were involved in discharging the firearms. They will be on administrative leave indefinitely intl we find the right time for them to return to duty."
Colyer said Cogar did not discharge his weapon; however, he presented a direct threat to the officers who made the decision to fire. It is not known if Cogar was under the influence of drugs of alcohol at the time of the shooting. Colyer said he was proud of the officers as they transitioned instantly after the shooting to try to save Cogar's life. The incident is now in the hands of the Montana Justice Department's Office of Criminal Investigation in Helena.