Short Search at Big Sky

img_0248.jpg(Big Sky, Mont.)

On Sunday, August 28th, 2016 at 7:55 p.m., Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies, Search and Rescue personnel, and Big Sky Fire Department responded to a back country search on the Lower North Fork Trailhead.  While hiking to Gallatin Peak, a 38 year old Bozeman male had become separated from his friend and had not been seen for several hours.  At 2100 hours, just as the Search and Rescue members were preparing to head to the trailhead, the man walked out of the woods.  He was tired, but in good health.  Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind those that go hiking that even a short hike can turn into an overnight adventure. Know the terrain, know your limitations and stay with or communicate with your partner.  #####

Law Enforcement Leaders Offer Free Gun Locks

  After last week’s tragic shooting in Belgrade, all of Gallatin Counties’ Law Enforcement leaders have agreed to provide our patrol deputies and officers with gun locks in their vehicles.  We respond to families in crisis on a daily basis and in many cases there are firearms in the house.  We will offer and provide the locks to anyone interested.

  All of your local police departments, highway patrol and Sheriff’s Office in this county will work together to ensure there is a lock available when requested.  The new gunlocks are combination, not keyed.  We encourage people to not write the combination down and only provide it to people that should have access.

 Brian M. Gootkin

Gallatin County Sheriff

615 South 16th

Bozeman, MT  59715


Shooting Update



The shooting incident that occurred on August 18, 2016 that resulted in the death of a 9 year old boy remains under investigation.

Detectives have been working diligently to investigate all leads. Detectives have submitted items for analysis to the Montana State Forensics Science Division Laboratory. Results can take some time to analyze. We must all be patient and let the process proceed as needed.

We would like to clarify misinformation that we believe has been assumed, specifically that the victim lived at the residence in which the incident occurred. The correct information is, the victim was visiting someone at the residence and not a household member. The victim lived in Belgrade with his family and went to Belgrade Public Schools.

After speaking with the victim’s parents and family members they wished to have his name released today. They have requested that they be allowed to release his name through us here at the Belgrade Police Department. Attached below is a statement from his parents and family.

Updates will follow as releasable information is obtained. There is not a set time for these updates to occur.

Chief E. J. Clark Jr.


On August 18, 2016 Greydun Flinn Stockinger left this world in a tragic accident. Grady was a loving, kind, generous old soul and left behind an amazing community of family, friends and loved ones. He touched the hearts of all who crossed his path and he was a beacon of light that showed us how to love. In the wake of this tragedy may his waves continue to connect and influence all. Through his eyes this world was colorful and his imagination enhanced those colors and brought a beautiful story to life. May his memory continue to inspire many more to live their lives out loud and not take a moment for granted. Grady’s nightly prayers consisted of everything from people in his life to the mountains we are surrounded by and the fresh air and water that flowed between that gave life to all. He was thankful for this life and all who entered it, be it animal or human even the ones he didn’t know personally. He was truly selfless. His name stands for Stronghold, and was intended to be there to always protect him. Now he will be the rock that we can lean on for that very same strength.


Funeral Arrangements :

A public viewing will be held this Monday for our dear Greydun Flinn Stockinger at the Dahl Funeral Home (300 Highland Blvd, Bozeman, Montana), from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  We welcome any and all of those who wish to pay their respects to our sunny bunny boy. Grady’s formal Memorial Service is to set for this Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the Belgrade Events Center. The time will be set at a later date. We would love for anyone who would like to attend, to join us in the celebration of his life.


Little Bear Gets Motorcycle


On August 20, 2016 around 10:00 AM Gallatin County Search and Rescue responded to the area of Little Bear Trail for a report of a 28 year old male with an injured shoulder.  The Belgrade man was riding his motorcycle about six miles up a trail on Forest Service Land. The back end of his motorcycle kicked out and he did a “superman.” The sudden jerk dislocated his shoulder.  A volunteer member of Gallatin County Search and Rescue was in the area and was able to put the man on the back of his four-wheeler. He drove the man about 2 miles to a waiting ambulance. The man was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind all outdoor enthusiasts that an accident in the backcountry could be a complicated affair to get treatment. The area around Little Bear consists of a maze of roads. Many roads are not on maps and others have been re-numbered. The man was lucky to have a Search and Rescue member know exactly where he was located.


Shooting Incident



On August 18, 2016 at approximately 1000 hrs. the Belgrade Police Department received a report of a youth who had been shot in the 1000 Block of Cardinal Drive in Belgrade.

Upon arrival officers located a 9 year old boy who had been shot once with a semi-automatic handgun. Responding officers and Central Valley Fire Department provided medical assistance on the scene. The youth was transported to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital where he unfortunately succumbed to his injury.

The weapon involved has been located and secured. We are confident that there is no risk to the public and the incident is contained.

Detectives from the Belgrade Police Department, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner are presently conducting an investigation into the incident to determine the exact cause of this tragedy.

Detectives are working diligently to get factual information to put closure to this incident. Detectives need time to work this case and obtain the facts that will direct them to the exact circumstances surrounding this incident.

Updates will be provided as this investigation proceeds towards a conclusion.  

Due to the investigation, we will not be releasing names at this time.

If anyone as information on this case please contact the Belgrade Police Department 388-4262.

This type of incident reminds us all how very precious our loved ones are to us and the community as a whole.


Chief E. J. Clark Jr.

Death of Juvenile

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On August 18, 2016, at approximately 10:00 A.M., Belgrade Police and EMS were called to an address on Cardinal Drive in Belgrade for a gunshot wound to a juvenile. He was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Coroners for the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the Belgrade Police Department are investigating the death.

The name of the deceased is not going to be released at this time, allowing for further family notification.

Wildfire North of Belgrade


update 10:15 pm

Dry Creek Fire UPDATE: The majority of the fire crews working on the Dry Creek fire have demobilized for the night.  Several fire units will remain in the area through the night to observe what remains of the fire.  Residents that left the area after being notified of the fire are free to return home for the night.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Sherman road, north of Belgrade to assist with a wildland fire at 3:15 this afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies notified approximately 30 residence of the hazard. Warnings for the potential of evacuations were given. There were no evacuation orders.

The Sheriffs Office would ask that bystanders do not drive out to the area, as it is causing traffic problems for emergency vehicles.

The Sheriff’s Office has also been dispatched to a Wildfire in the Cougar Creek area near West Yellowstone. Deputies are advising residents in the Duck Creek, Upper Bear Trap and Lower Bear Trap area of the potential hazard.

Ridge Runner Rescued

On August 13, 2016 at about 11:30 AM Gallatin County Search and Rescue was called out for a report of an ill runner participating in the Bridger Ridge Run. The 45-year-old man from Iowa made it to the top of Bridger Bowl where he became disoriented, and dizzy. He was met by medical personnel monitoring the race. Doctors on scene requested immediate evacuation. Given the terrain, Reach Air Ambulance was called and responded to the scene. Within 50 minutes of the time of call, the man was transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
 The man stated later that he arrived in Bozeman on Thursday and thought that he was effected by the altitude. Iowa is at about 1,500 feet above sea level and the Bridger Ridge Run is close to a 20 mile race that reaches elevations of 9,400 feet. Though incidents of High Altitude Cerebral Edema are rare in this area, they can occur. It is uncertain whether this man suffered from that or just altitude sickness. Sheriff Gootkin would like to remind outdoor enthusiasts travelling to higher altitudes to acclimate properly.