Police try to tie shootout, postal worker slayings
Posted: Friday, February 18, 2011 8:01 pm
By KRISTIN HALL
and TRAVIS LOLLER
COVINGTON (AP) — Investigators are looking into a possible link between a police shootout in western Tennessee that killed a teenage suspect this week and the fatal shooting of two postal workers in Henning in October, authorities said Thursday.
Mason Police Chief James Paris told The Associated Press that investigators are checking to see if the gun that police say 18-year-old Chastain Montgomery Jr. fired at officers before he was shot and killed Monday was also used in the post office crime.
The FBI, U.S. Attorney’s office and postal inspectors declined to comment Thursday.
The link between the two cases was first reported by WMC-TV.
The teenager’s father, also named Chastain Montgomery, is being held on charges related to the shootout and faces a hearing today. Montgomery is a resident of the Nashville suburb of La Vergne, but a records search found he had lived in Henning off and on over the years.
The younger Montgomery was fatally shot after a police chase through two counties. The sheriff’s office in Tipton County, just north of Memphis, said Montgomery was killed after he got out of a stolen pickup armed with two handguns. Authorities said he fired at the officers several times before a deputy from Haywood County, where the chase began, shot him.
Paris said he’s not involved in the investigation because he was at the shootout. The chief said he is being kept informed of the probe’s findings.
The two crime investigations involve federal, state and local agencies.
Warrants filed against the elder Montgomery in Tipton County General Sessions Court say the 47-year-old arrived at the scene of his son’s death at 10:25 a.m., about an hour and a half after the shooting.
According to the warrants, Montgomery ran through the crime scene tape, ignoring the shouted warnings of officers and headed straight for the stolen truck his son had been driving, which had been left running.
Officers had to pull Montgomery away and fight him to the ground. He was taken into custody and is charged with evidence tampering, being an accessory after the fact, theft between $1,000 and $10,000 and resisting arrest.
The theft charge is related to dye-stained money he was carrying when he was arrested. According to the warrants, the money had come from a bank robbery and was stained by a dye pack that exploded and marked it. His son had some of the same money on him.
The warrants also state that Montgomery was charged with accessory after the fact for harboring his son, after being told he was a wanted suspect.
Nashville police had been trying to arrest the teenager, also of La Vergne, since Jan. 5, when an attempted murder warrant was issued after another teenager was shot at but not injured. Police said the suspect knew the victim from high school and the two had been involved in an altercation a few hours earlier.
The son also was a suspect in a carjacking a few hours before the shootout, Nashville police said.
A construction superintendent at a job site was held up by a gunman wearing a ski mask who demanded the keys to his pickup truck, his wallet and cell phone. The victim, Bill Petty, 59, turned over the materials and told police the robber told him, “I’ll let you live.”
Loller reported from Nashville.
Published in The Messenger 2.18.11