At around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, Missoula police received a call about a male with a handgun. The complainant told dispatch that a male had told him that he was going to shoot someone, showed him a handgun, showed him that it was loaded, and then walked westbound on Broadway.

An officer arrived in the area to search for the male and found him near the Citi-Lodge motel. When the male saw the officer, he immediately sprinted into the alley behind the motel. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The officer followed the male in his patrol car,” Welsh said. “He didn’t see him at first, but as he slowly rolled down the alley he passed a corner of the building, looked to his left, and saw the male standing there within feet of his driver side window. When the officer was making movements to get out of the car to engage with the male, the male suddenly lifted his shirt front, revealing the grip of a pistol in his waistband.”

The officer clearly saw the grip end of a handgun visible and saw the male grab onto it and start to pull it from the waistband of his pants.

Rather than trying to engage the male in a very vulnerable position, Welsh said the officer accelerated away from the male, stopped his vehicle, and saw the male running in the alley.

“The officer got out of his patrol car and attempted to follow the male on foot,” Welsh said. “He located the male and held him at gunpoint in the alley until other officers arrived. They were able to take the male into custody and he was identified as 21-year-old Noah Gochis. Gochis was placed under arrest and his weapon was recovered. The officers learned that his weapon was a very authentic looking pellet gun.”

According to court documents, this pellet gun was an exact replica of a Sig Sauer M17 9mm pistol that is issued to and used by the US military.

Gochis is being charged with one count of assault with a weapon and one count of obstructing a peace officer.