Marshall Barrus, left, and father Lloyd Barrus. Marshall Barrus died Wednesday from wounds sustained in a gunfight with Montana law enforcement. Lloyd Barrus is in a Montana jail on $2 million bond. (Photo courtesy Missoula County Sheriff’s Office)
MISSOULA, Mont. (CN) – A man suspected of killing a Montana sheriff’s deputy Tuesday had published dozens of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-government and pro-President Donald Trump posts on social media in the days before the shooting.
Lloyd Montier Barrus, 61, of Bakersfield, California, is in the Missoula County jail in Missoula, Montana, following the shooting death Tuesday of Broadwater County sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore.
Moore, 41, a rookie officer with three children, had pulled over Barrus’s Chevy Suburban around 3 a.m. Tuesday near Three Forks, Montana. Barrus and his son Marshall Barrus, 38, fled the scene of the shooting and drove west on Interstate 90, exchanging gunfire with Montana Highway Patrol, police from Anaconda, and officers from Butte-Silverbow, Powell, Granite and Missoula counties.
At one point during the chase, Marshall Barrus moved to a rear seat of the Suburban and began firing a shotgun or rifle at law enforcement, according to a criminal complaint.
About 120 miles west of where Moore had been killed, the Barruses exited their vehicle and opened fire on officers, the complaint says. Marshall Barrus was shot in the head, while Lloyd Barrus had his Glock 9mm pistol shot out of his hand and was arrested. Marshall Barrus died Wednesday at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Lloyd Barrus was charged Wednesday with 16 counts of attempted deliberate homicide for the shots fired at the officers. He made his initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court, where Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen set bail at $2 million.
Dozens of Facebook posts by Lloyd Barrus in the days before the shooting show he opposed immigration, was a gun fanatic, supported Trump, was opposed to gays, and said in one post about the U.S. Army’s largest gun, “You want us to Jack a Round?”
In the two weeks prior to his arrest, Lloyd Barrus’ Facebook posts included the following headlines:
“Urgent/Imminent: Military Coup about to take place. You are being watched and your life IS in danger;”
“NEW EXTRA DEADLY Ammunition for Police, Law Enforcement and Military;”
“ONE BOMB KILLS 40 TANKS us air force CBU 105 cluster bomb;” and
“Six Years Ago Today, Navy SEALS Killed Osama Bin Laden With This Gun. Here’s What It Is.”
Marshall Barrus had a long criminal history, including being arrested in November by police in Belgrade, Montana, for breaking into a couple’s home, assaulting a woman and threatening to kill a man. He was awaiting trial for felony burglary when he died.
This was Lloyd Barrus’ second deadly exchange with law enforcement.
According to the Associated Press, Lloyd Barrus, his son Jeffrey Barrus and another woman were arrested in 2000 in California after fleeing from a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper trying to stop them and shooting at officers during a 70-mile chase. Their vehicle broke down and they hid in a gully during an 18-hour standoff in Death Valley, the AP said.
Four Division of Criminal Investigation agents remain on-scene in Missoula and Broadwater counties, conducting interviews, searching vehicles and processing evidence, the Montana Attorney General’s office said.