Missoula jury confirms Brendon Galbreath died by suicide during police chase, officer cleared

Zoe Buchli

At a coroner’s inquest Friday morning in Missoula, a jury confirmed a young Native American man died by suicide last summer during a chase with Missoula police, clearing the officer involved of any liability.  

Close to midnight on Aug. 12, Missoula Police Officer Garrett Brown initiated a traffic stop on a car driven by Brendon Galbreath, who was 21.

Dash and body camera footage played for the public at Friday’s inquest show that during the stop, Galbreath apologized profusely for not using a turn signal when he turned. When Brown went back to his patrol car to gather information, Galbreath drove off.

He traveled east on Broadway through downtown Missoula, eventually turning south on Orange Street. At the intersection of Beckwith and Stephens, he made a u-turn and shortly after stopped the car.

As Brown exited his police car, he heard a gunshot from Galbreath’s vehicle. Brown returned a single shot, which went through the front windshield but did not hit Galbreath.

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Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Coroner Stephen Gorr confirmed at the inquest Galbreath died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Several of Galbreath’s loved

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