The Gazette reports on the coroner’s inquest that shows five police officers fired 74 shots in six seconds at 24-year-old Preston Bell as he tried to evade arrest in a Billings South Side cul-de-sac. Bell had crashed a stolen pickup into multiple vehicles during the Nov. 18, 2017 altercation that ended in his death, according to testimony heard Wednesday in Yellowstone County District Court. Inquests of this kind are required by Montana law anytime a person dies in police custody or from an officer-involved shooting. The jury decides whether the officers were justified in using lethal force, and the county attorney’s office ultimately decides whether to press charges. Shortly after midnight on the night he was shot, Bell had been trying to maneuver a stolen Ford F-350 from among several parked patrol cars. Read the whole story online at;

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