Sheriff – Wounded Deputy Will Oppose Parole For Convicted Tax Protester Gordon Sellner
In 1992, then Missoula County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Parcell was shot in the chest by activist and tax protester Gordon Sellner, who was later convicted of attempted deliberate homicide and sentenced to life in prison.
Sellner is up for parole for a second time, and Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott, a delegation of sheriff's office personnel and the man shot by Sellner, now Sergeant Bob Parcell, will ask the Board of Pardons and Paroles that Sellner be kept behind bars.
Parcell related his experience with Sellner that he vividly remembered happening at exactly 11:17 p.m. on June 27, 1992. Sellner was wanted for questioning by Lake County authorities, and Parcell was assisting when he came upon the vehicle in which Sellner was a passenger.
"I turned and got up close to the vehicle, put on my lights, the vehicle stopped and the passenger door burst open and a guy jumps out and runs into the woods," Parcell began. "I got on the radio and said 'I've got a runner', then ran down some distance and said 'Hey, stop! I just want to talk', and then pow, pow, pow pow, pow,pow, just that fast. Then, I remember muffled sounds that are called auditory exclusions because my ears had shut down, and apparently it was a .41 magnum shooting at me. Then, someone was shooting back, and I realized it was me, I was just working on muscle memory. I was shooting to keep whoever was shooting at me off of me."
Parcell related how he was wounded by Sellner's weapon.
"Then I get a thump in the chest, and it felt like a punch in my left pectoral muscle, and I said to myself, 'Well, I'm not down', so I just kept going until I fell over a log. I decided it was time to get out of the kill zone. I went to the vehicle and said 'SHOTS FIRED! SHOTS FIRED! I"M HIT! I realized that I still had to deal with the driver, so I got out of the car and cuffed him up. I told my partner 'I can't find a hole ', but my partner said it was right under my badge, so I reached under through my body armor and my hand was covered with blood. At that point I got down on one knee and started dictating my story into a tape recorder, just in case. From then on, I became a patient. A helicopter took me to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. There was a hole about 2 1/2 inches wide and blew out my pectoral muscle."
Parcell said that during his trial, Sellner said that he heard a voice from God telling him to shoot Parcell in the chest. He is wearing his flak jacket and it won't hurt him. So, he shot at Parcell six times.
It took three years for authorities to arrest Sellner, and he was found guilty of attempted deliberate homicide. He was sentenced by Judge C.B. McNeill to life in prison plus 10 years.
Parcell said Sellner should spend the rest of his life in prison.