On March 13, 2022, at around 6:54 a.m., Missoula Police Department Officers responded to the Birchwood Meadows Apartments for multiple reports of shots fired. The officer made contact with the victim and she stated “he shot out the back of my tires.” The officer asked the victim if she was near the vehicle when it was shot. The victim replied that she was in the truck and “was trying to get away from him.”

The victim took the officer to the truck and showed her the damage. The officer observed bullet holes in the truck’s tailgate, its front passenger tire mud flap, and both passenger side tires. The officer located a total of eight shell casings, all directly in front of the Birchwood Meadows Apartments’ sign. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story.

“Dispatch advised officers on duty that they were receiving multiple 911 calls regarding a domestic dispute and shots being heard at an apartment complex,” Arnold said. “All available officers in the city responded to the call due to threat to the public and the individuals involved. Officers on scene observed the crime scene and located the victims who were involved. Officers secured the scene, spoke to witnesses, offered assistance to the victim, and called in detectives.”

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The victim confirmed the shooter was her ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Evan Petroff, who was in possession of a Glock handgun with an extended magazine. While Petroff’s location was unknown, the officer directed the victim and her three children to the residence’s second floor. The officer learned that despite Petroff not having access to a house key, he had already kicked in the door to the residence the previous month.

“While on scene, officers located shell casings from the reported shots fired,” Arnold said. “No person was physically injured during the altercation. The suspect had left prior to officer’s arrival, but officers were able to obtain information of where the suspect, Evan Petroff, was. Officers took Petroff into custody without additional incident. Petroff is being held at the Missoula County Jail on multiple felony charges.”

Officers eventually located Petroff within the back linen closet of a West Sussex Avenue residence. No firearm was located on his person. During an interview with a detective, the victim said the two do not live together and she hasn’t seen him for two weeks. Petroff entered the victim’s bedroom requesting some of his things. Petroff took a pack of cigarettes, which lead to a physical altercation between the two.

At that point, the victim said her children were awake and appeared scared. Her daughter called the police. The victim then tried to coax Petroff out of the house and away from her children. She exited the house, inviting Petroff to follow so the two could leave together.

The victim entered her truck, then Petroff dropped something, allowing the victim time to lock the truck. The victim began to slowly drive away, allowing Petroff to follow on foot. At a roundabout, she paused to make sure Petroff was still following her. The victim then recalled hearing gun shots and realizing her tires had been shot out. The victim then drove off and eventually pulled into an Albertson’s parking lot.

Petroff spoke to detectives and at first denied possession of a firearm. Petroff eventually admitted to shooting several rounds at the victim’s vehicle. Petroff stated he hid the gun under a porch near Boyd Park. The detective relayed that information to the officer, who recovered the weapon.

Petroff is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment, felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, partner or family member assault, violation of a no contact order, and two counts of criminal mischief.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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