Update: Manhunt underway for man considered armed, dangerous

By: 
Johnathan Hettinger
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Totland is pictured at the command post set up for a manhunt Wednesday morning west of Livingston. Law enforcement officials are searching for 36-year-old Shaunesy Cole.

Update 8:15 a.m. Thursday, July 12

The search for a man considered armed and dangerous is still underway on Thursday morning.

The Park County Sheriff’s Department issued an emergency alert at 6:38 a.m. Thursday morning, saying the search was still ongoing and law enforcement needed access to all residences in the Quinn Creek area to conduct a door-to-door search.

Original story

A manhunt is underway on the border of Park and Gallatin counties for a suspect considered to be armed and dangerous.

 Park County Sheriff Scott Hamilton identified the suspect as 36-year-old Shaunesy Cole. A news release had previously incorrectly identified another Livingston man as the suspect.

 At around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, the Park County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of a potential drunk driver, driving a white car with a damaged front end swerving on Interstate 90 traveling west. An officer pulled the vehicle over but the suspect, who also had a woman in the car, refused to get out of the car and fled the scene, Hamilton said.

 Afterward, the suspect led officers on a chase down the interstate that reached more than 100 mph, before heading up the frontage road and Quinn Creek Road. 

 The suspect stuck something out the window that looked like a firearm, which he pulled back inside the vehicle, Hamilton said. Then the suspect stuck the object out again and officers heard what sounded like a shot, backed off and continued the pursuit from farther away, calling in additional units.

 “We’ve been searching the area since then,” Hamilton said.

 Later Wednesday morning, officers arrested a woman who was driving the vehicle and is believed to have been with Cole in the car during the pursuit.

 The woman has been charged with a felony obstruction of justice and a traffic violation, Hamilton said.

 Law enforcement has a command station at the bottom of Quinn Creek Road, where it comes off the frontage road, right next to Interstate 90.

 The search includes at least two helicopters, the two sheriff’s departments, the Livingston and Bozeman police departments, the U.S. Forest Service, Montana Highway Patrol, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

 “They’re assisting greatly with this manhunt,” Hamilton said.

 Hamilton said that Cole, who has prior felony convictions for assault on a peace officer, theft and escape, has at least $175,000 in bail worth of warrants out, not including any charges from Wednesday’s incident. The warrants included burglary.

 Hamilton said Cole was the main suspect in a May motorcycle theft that led to a police pursuit from Livingston to Billings. Cole, who was joined by another person in that case, was also suspected of stealing money and jewelry in that incident.

 “We had been looking for him for a while. We believed he was living in the Billings area, and now he appears to be back here,” Hamilton said.

 Officers are following all leads, including going house to house and checking with residents. They are also searching buildings and searching from the air. They have also followed up on tips, including a hitch hiker in the area.

 “We’re following all leads trying to find this guy,” Hamilton said.

 Cole, a white male, is about 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Cole has several tattoos, including one that says “outlaw” across his chest, and has a red mohawk that is currently pressed down. 

 Anyone with information about Cole’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact law enforcement. Citizens should not approach him.