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Butte man sentenced to 50 years in State Prison after shooting at Belgrade police officers

HELENA – A Butte man was sentenced to 50 years in the Montana State Prison after he shot at law enforcement who arrived at the scene where he was breaking windows and setting his apartment on fire, Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today.  

David Jackson, 42, pleaded guilty to charges of assault on a peace officer, arson, and criminal endangerment in August 2023. Jackson admitted to shooting at law enforcement in 2020 when they arrived on the scene following complaints of him breaking windows and throwing items out of his second-floor apartment before lighting it on fire during a mental health event.  

A Belgrade Police Department sergeant and officer took cover behind a patrol vehicle while Jackson fired multiple rounds directly toward the officers. Two of the shots struck the patrol vehicle. A special response team also arrived on the scene and breached the apartment to intervene. 

The judge followed the recommendation by the Attorney General’s Office for a 50-year prison sentence, which was supported by the officers involved. 

Assistant Attorneys General Jordan Salo and Thorin Geist prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Belgrade Police Department with support from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Bozeman Police Department.  

Press Release provided by Montana Department of Justice

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