One dead in apparent shooting at Helena Motel 6; suspect at large

January 25, 2017 GMT

HELENA - A 31-year-old man died in an apparent shooting at Motel 6 in Helena early Wednesday, police reported.

The shooting was reported around 12:58 a.m. A caller reported hearing a gunshot before seeing a man walking outside the motel with what appeared to be blood on his hands.

The victim was found in the parking lot, and efforts to save his life were unsuccessful. The case is being investigated as a homicide.

Detectives believe Brandon LeClair, 41, was likely involved. The suspect is still at large and might be armed, police said.

LeClair is described as a 5-foot-7 white man who weighs 155 pounds and short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black jacket.

Deer Lodge County and West Yellowstone had issued warrants for LeClair’s arrest prior to the incident. Anyone who knows his location is urged to call police at 911 or 442-3233.

East Helena schools were locked down Wednesday morning, though a note on the school district’s website says “Police report the suspect poses no immediate danger.”

“However, in the interest of being protective of our kids’ safety with this limited information we did lock down the schools first thing this morning and will evaluate the police information as the morning progresses. We will keep you informed via emails, text messages from the website and Facebook posts as further information becomes available,” a statement from the school district’s Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said.

Helena Public Schools officials decided it was not necessary to lock down Helena schools after discussing the situation with police, Assistant Superintendent Greg Upham said.

“I didn’t feel there was an emergency situation after a conversation with the Helena Police Department, that any of our schools required a lock down,” he said.

This story will be updated.