Pizza Delivery Driver Shoots Robbery Suspect While Delivering Pizzas

A Montana man has claimed he shot a robbery suspect who targeted him on Friday night while he was delivering pizzas, police say.

A suspect in the case was transported to hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound during the incident, according to the Billings Police Department.

Local law enforcement has confirmed in a tweet that the violent altercation occurred at approximately 8:20 p.m. in the 300 block of South 28th Street.

"Shots were fired. The robbery suspect was found and tried to run from police, who were able to catch him. The suspect was transported to a local hospital. Investigation is continuing," read a media update attributed to sergeant Glenn Gunther.

The current medical condition of the robbery suspect was not immediately clear today. The Billings Police Department has been contacted for additional comment.

The Billings Gazette, one of the largest newspapers in Montana, reported a white Sedan at the scene contained "visible holes" in the windshield, which appeared cracked.

20-67941, 9/11/20 @ 2019 hrs. A robbery occurred in the 300 blk of S 28th St. Shots were fired. The robbery suspect was found and tried to run from police, who were able to catch him. The suspect was transported to a local hospital. The investigation is continuing.

Sgt Gunther

— BillingsPD (@BillingsPD) September 12, 2020

Billings Police sergeant Clyde Reid told the local media outlet: "The pizza delivery guy was attempting to deliver pizzas, when he claims that he was robbed."

"While in the process of being robbed, in self-defense he's claiming, he fired a weapon, striking the suspect. Right now, we're trying to contact people in the area to find out what they've seen, trying to prove or disprove what we've been told," he added.

According to authorities, the suspect was wounded in the abdomen and was detained by officers after fleeing into an alley. He was then taken to St. Vincent Healthcare. The case is under active investigation and no arrests have been made, officials said.

On September 1, Yellowstone County, where the city of Billings is located, recorded a 20 percent spike in violent crimes—including such murder and robbery—between March 1 and July 31, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said, the Associated Press reported.

Comparing the figures to the period in 2019, officials said statistics indicated robberies alone were up about 44 percent since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Authorities noted the state's criminal justice system had been stressed by the COVID-19 outbreak, with dozens of jail inmates recently testing positive.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said social service agencies had been forced to use resources on the pandemic, while the prices of meth have doubled since COVID-19 hit, seemingly linked to disruption of supply chains from Mexico and China. A surge in violence may be linked to an increase in demand and less supply, Twito said.

Montana health officials have recorded more than 8,700 cases of the novel coronavirus to date, with the infectious respiratory illness believed to have claimed 131 lives.

Emergency Response
File photo: Emergency Response iStock