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35-year-old Vilene Not Afraid shot to death by Billings Police following a robbery standoff

Negotiations with the suspect lasted for about two hours.



Vilene Not Afraid

Vilene Not Afraid, identified by several family members, was the 35-year-old woman who was killed following a robbery, standoff, and officer-involved shooting on Saturday night.

Billings Police Lieutenant Matt Lennick reported that the incident began at approximately 4:00 p.m. in the 4600 block of Western Sky Drive, where officers were notified of a disturbance involving the suspect.

The suspect then fired a gun in the air and proceeded to steal the victim’s vehicle.

After finding the stolen vehicle on King Avenue West, officers tried to pull over Not Afraid, but she refused and initiated a chase that went through downtown and the heights.

While fleeing, she collided with two unrelated vehicles near Main Street and Lake Elmo, causing significant damage to her car.

Eventually, her vehicle malfunctioned around the 900 block of 6th Avenue North, leading to a standoff with the police.

After confirming that the suspect was still armed, the Billings Police Department and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office SWAT teams were called in.

Negotiations with the suspect lasted for about two hours, but she remained uncooperative. Eventually, the SWAT officers used gas to force the suspect out of the vehicle, at which point she pointed her firearm at the officers.

A Yellowstone County SWAT officer then shot at her, and she was taken to the hospital but ultimately pronounced dead.

The deputy who fired the weapon has been put on administrative leave.