Suspect arrested following armed standoff

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A Kalispell man accused of firing a gun at law enforcement officers during a Thursday evening incident has a troubled past involving dangerous drugs.

Cody Scott Lindahl, 22, is in the Flathead County Jail on felony charges of assaulting a police officer, assault with a weapon and burglary after officials said he fired a shotgun in the direction of several officers.

Lindahl recently was charged in Flathead District Court with one felony count of burglary. In that case he is accused of stealing a deep cycle marine battery on Jan. 12 from a business on U.S. 2 in Kalispell. He faces up to 20 years in the Montana State Prison for that alleged crime. Lindahl has a prior criminal record in the county involving methamphetamine use in 2014.

Lindahl didn’t spend much time in the county jail on the Jan. 12 burglary charge. According to court documents, he requested a bail reduction hearing Jan. 18 because he couldn’t afford $5,000 bail. He believed the consideration of additional facts at a hearing would justify reduction of the bail amount. But before a scheduled bail hearing Feb. 14, Lindahl was able to secure the bail Jan. 20 through a private company based in Kalispell.

Four days later, it is alleged that he was wandering through a Valley Drive neighborhood Thursday evening with a gun.

According to Sheriff Brian Heino, a call came in at about 6:30 p.m. of an armed man walking around in yards in the 400 block of Valley Drive. Officers responded, but the man, later identified as Lindahl, had entered a shop. A man helped deputies get into the building, but as they did, shots rang out and a deputy pulled the citizen from the doorway.

At that point, two tactical teams were called out and officers from Kalispell Police Department and Montana Highway Patrol arrived to help sheriff’s deputies.

A standoff ensued and a negotiator spoke with Lindahl, but to no avail. Lindahl was in a loft in the building and he continued to fire rounds toward the door as officers were stationed outside.

“I’m glad he didn’t have a rifle because I’m not sure how this would have turned out,” Heino said. “The BBs just bounced off the side of the wall, but with a rifle, bullets may have been able to penetrate the wall.”

After negotiations broke down, officers said Lindahl made a run for freedom, but was quickly apprehended by officers who had surrounded the shop.

“We were very fortunate no one was hurt,” Heino said. ‘When you hear shots are being fired, your stomach just sinks. You’re thinking about your men, hoping they’re OK.”

Lindahl was taken into custody without serious injury to himself or law officers. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate Lindahl for a possible involvement in other crimes. Heino said Lindahl hadn’t shown a propensity for violence in the past. He also said it wasn’t obvious that Lindahl was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he was arrested.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com

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