Posted: Apr 3, 2013 4:01 PM by KXLF
Updated: Apr 3, 2013 4:21 PM
BUTTE - Maintaining crowd control during a standoff may put authorities in more danger than they are already in.
"Our department should have a unit in place to deal with the traffic so that the police officers can do their jobs," said Christal Smith, an eyewitness to a shooting incident on Dewey Boulevard on Monday evening." I just felt that the police officers have way too much to do in light of the situation."
Other eyewitnesses say the area was full of curious onlookers. An officer was injured during the shooting. Officers had to leave their posts several times to ask people to keep moving, according to Smith. That type of situation could potentially expose authorities to hostile fire, according to Sheriff Ed Lester of Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement.
Authorities were prepared to react if the individual came out with a weapon, Lester said. The fire department and highway patrol helped to contain the situation.
A special unit for traffic control will not be necessary, Lester said. Authorities ask that the public consider their vehicles may be blocking a dangerous situation before they drive or walk into the scene.
"Just pick a different route," Lester said. "If you see a police car parked in a sideways manner to block the street, common sense would indicate that it's not a good idea to drive around the police car."
Lt. Jeff Williams was injured during the standoff and was released from St. James Healthcare. He will take a short medical leave.