An officer-involved shooting took place Monday night, Jan. 7 in Missoula, leaving an officer hospitalized.

Update 2:30 p.m. Jan 8 Missoula City Police Chief Mark Muir comments on the incident that occurred Monday night and how it has affected the police department.

Jon King with Mark Muir

Update 12:30 p.m. Jan 8 Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir has released the names of the officers involved in Monday night's incident in which one officer was seriously injured, and the other officer fired a shot to subdue the suspect. The injured officer is patrol officer Deni Poling, who has been with the force for six and a half years. She was transported to St. Patrick Hospital and underwent surgery for her injuries. The officer who fired his weapon was identified as patrol supervisor Richard Stepper, a 21 year veteran of the force.

Update 1 a.m Jan. 8: The suspect was found in a southside residence in Missoula. She has been taken into custody and is receiving medical treatment.

At an 11 p.m. news conference Monday night (Jan. 7), Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir said a call came in to 9-1-1 about a female parolee who had been spotted at the McDonald's restaurant on East Broadway. Two officers, one male and one female, approached the vehicle and ordered the woman to exit the vehicle. The female backed up the car, a red Pontiac Grand Prix, and struck the female officer, causing severe, but non-life-threatening injuries. The male officer ordered the woman to stop, and when she did not, he fired one shot into the vehicle, striking the woman. She continued to drive away, and is still at large and is believed to be gravely wounded.


Chief Muir identified the suspect as a 47 year-old parolee named Dawnette Eaton, wanted on drug charges in Montana.


Missoula police, county sheriff's department and Montana Highway Patrol personnel are searching the area of Hartman Street and Front Street as of midnight, looking for the suspect.


The vehicle that Eaton was driving, a red Pontiac Grand Prix, was found in the Hartman Street and Front Street area, and has been impounded.


The woman is not believed to be armed.


The wounded female officer is in surgery at Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital with what is believed to be a broken hip, a broken leg and possible internal injuries, which at this time are not believed to be life-threatening.

Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir

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