Missoula man killed by Montana deputies is identified

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities on Friday identified a 31-year-old man who was killed by Missoula County sheriff’s deputies responding to reports the man was swinging a machete and making lethal threats.

Johnny Lee Perry II of Missoula was shot and killed by law enforcement officers Aug. 29.

Authorities said Perry did not comply with verbal commands and deputies initially used a “less lethal option” to try to get him to comply, the Missoula County Sheriff’s office said.

After that failed and Perry still posed a threat, at least one officer fired shots. Perry was flown to a hospital in Missoula where he died of his injuries, authorities said.

Two deputies were placed on administrative leave in connection with the shooting, said Kyler Nerison with the Montana Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Office.

The department’s Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating Perry’s death.

In January 2020, Perry was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault after another man, Sean Stevenson, was strangled to death at the Poverello Center homeless shelter in Missoula, the Missoulian reported.

In late May, prosecutors dropped the charges against Perry, saying they had ample evidence that Perry had used “justifiable force.”