$1 Million Bond for Man who Tried to Run From and Shoot Police
29 year-old Zachary Harris is in the Missoula County Jail on $1 million bond after allegedly picking up drugs from a postal location, attempting to flee from several law enforcement officers, then pulling a pistol and trying to shoot them.
At Harris’ Missoula Justice Court appearance on Friday, Deputy County Attorney James McCubbin explained the incident to Judge Alex Beal.
Harris, who had been under investigation for some time by several law enforcement agencies, went to the UPS Store on West Broadway to pick up a package that contained illegal drugs; however several law enforcement officers were waiting to arrest him when he came out of the store.
McCubbin described what happened during the arrest.
“Defendant Harris did come to retrieve that package,” said McCubbin. “He took possession of the package and had to walk outside, and officers then closed in to arrest him. He was confronted with four officers. This was a combined federal, state and local operation. The four in front of him each had ballistic vests, identifying them as Police or Sheriff or to that effect. In addition, he had a DEA agent and along with the Postal Inspector behind him, and the DEA agent had his badge in his hand.”
Harris then attempted to flee from the arrest and at that point, Harris produced a handgun.
“His decision at that point was to attempt to run, and as he attempted to run, he drew a pistol from his waistband area,” he said. “The only reason that probably multiple people didn't get shot here is that Detective Johnson with the Sheriff's Department was fast enough upon seeing him draw that weapon and attempt to charge it by sliding the back of the pistol, that he got that pistol sandwiched in his hands and prevented him from getting the pistol fully loaded.”
McCubbin said the officers and Harris continued to struggle to get control of the firearm.
“Detective Johnson didn't know that it wasn't fully loaded at that point and neither did the defendant who continued to struggle,” he said. “He fought with four officers at this point, and did manage to pull that trigger. So we think the facts are very clear. The evidence is very clear in this case. We are certainly looking at at least a prison sentence. And we would ask that you set $1 million bail for this case.”
There were no injuries reported.
The public defender did not attempt to negotiate a lower bail for Harris, due to the serious nature of the charges.
However, Harris himself seemed to hold out some hope that he might just walk away from the incident. He addressed Judge Beal.
“So, a release on my own recognizance is out of the question correct? Yes? Okay. Now I think we're done. I think I'm good.”
Harris has been charged with attempted deliberate homicide, assault on a peace officer, two counts of felony criminal endangerment, attempted criminal possession with intent to distribute and two counts of unlawful use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture. All are felonies.
He remains in the Missoula County Jail on $1 million bond.