Extremely Dangerous Pursuit in Missoula With a Wanted Man
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On September 6, 2023, members of the Missoula Drug Task Force responded to an apartment complex in the 1400 block of E. Broadway St. to conduct surveillance. The task force had previously received information that 37-year-old Shain Steffens was residing in one of those apartments and was driving a silver Chevy Impala. Additionally, Steffens was known to have a nationwide warrant for absconding parole and was on parole for two convictions of negligent homicide from 2019.
A TFO officer, US Marshals, and a probation officer conducted surveillance of the apartment for several hours and they observed multiple individuals arriving and departing the apartment complex, all staying for short periods of time prior to leaving the area.
During this surveillance time, Steffens entered the Impala and proceeded westbound on E. Broadway St. The TFO was among the officers to follow Steffens and he observed Steffens make a series of turns on less traveled streets. After several turns, a US Marshal attempted a traffic stop of Steffen’s vehicle in the area of the Peak Health and Wellness Center parking lot.
Steffens Does Not Come Quietly
At one point, Steffens drove his vehicle over a curb and positioned his vehicle in front of the TFO. Steffens reversed his vehicle at a high rate of speed and nearly came into contact with the TFO’s vehicle. As Steffens proceeded to reverse, he struck a parked vehicle.
At this time, the TFO attempted to exit his vehicle, however, Steffens immediately accelerated, forcing the TFO to close his door to avoid being struck by Steffens’s vehicle. Steffens then proceeded to accelerate through a chain-blocked exit and continued to travel into nearby city streets at which point, Missoula Police Department patrol officers engaged in a pursuit with Steffens.
An officer located Steffens in the alley between Spruce and Alder. The officer noted that Steffens was traveling at excessively high rates of speed, ranging between 60-80 MPH in residential areas with marked 25 MPH speed limits.
Steffens Puts Several Individuals at Risk
The officer observed Steffens pass two pedestrians on a congested street, placing the pedestrians in danger. Steffens also passed Lowell Elementary School during school time hours at high rates of speed. Steffens then crossed the Scott St. bridge, driving towards oncoming traffic and a bicyclist at an extremely high rate of speed.
Steffens eventually entered I-90, where he traveled towards the Wye at speeds in excess of 100 MPH. An officer observed Steffens in the area of North Reserve and Howard Raser and was able to position his patrol car behind Steffens. The officer noted Steffens reached speeds well in excess of 120 MPH while traveling through traffic, forcing vehicles to take aggressive maneuvers to avoid collisions.
The officer also observed Steffens drive off of the interstate at Airway Blvd., nearly causing a horrific collision with a semi-truck, before being forced back onto I-90, where he continued driving. A short time later, a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to deploy stop sticks, but Steffens was able to avoid them.
Pursuit Finally Comes to an End
Near the area of the weigh scales on I-90, a few miles before Frenchtown, Steffens’s engine blew in his car and began smoking. Steffens’s car was then observed leaving the left side of the roadway into the barrow pit, before getting stuck in the cable jersey rail.
An officer exited his patrol car and observed Steffens with his hands outside of the front passenger window, where Steffens was observed dropping bags of suspected drugs onto the ground. The officer also noticed that the underside of Steffens’s vehicle was on fire and other officers attempted to put the fire out with an extinguisher.
Several officers from several law enforcement agencies responded to the area of the crash, including the TFO officer who observed several Ziploc-style baggies on the ground outside of the passenger front window of Steffens’s vehicle. The TFO collected the bags to be processed and logged as evidence. After transporting the evidence back to the MPD, the TFO found two Ziploc-style baggies containing 20.2 grams of methamphetamine and 35 suspected Alprazolam pills where Steffens had been dropping bags.
Steffens was transported to St. Patrick’s Hospital. It was determined that he had broken two vertebrae in his back, which were injuries sustained when he crashed his vehicle. Steffens was placed under arrest and was transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility.
Steffens is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment, felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, felony criminal mischief, and fleeing from or eluding a peace officer. On September 8, 2023, Steffens made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $250,000.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.