Bozeman Police Officer Kills Wife, Self

Jul 31, 2017
Originally published on July 31, 2017 5:05 pm

A Bozeman police officer killed his wife and himself at their home over the weekend.

Gallatin County officials on Monday identified the dead as 31-year-old Danielle Heninger and 40-year-old Zach Heninger. Zach Heninger, a 12-year veteran of the police force, was off duty.

Officers responded to reports of gunshots at 11:30 p.m. Saturday and found the Heningers dead. Police Chief Steve Crawford said Monday that the couple's three children were home at the time. He says the children were staying with family.

Crawford said officials had no indication the Heningers were having marital troubles and that law enforcement had not previously responded to any reports of domestic disturbances at their house.

During a press conference streamed by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Crawford called it an "unprecedented hit" to the department and said "the effect on staff is tremendous."

All personnel who directly responded to the scene will go through a structured debriefings designed to help them process the situation.

Bozeman Police Sgt Travis Munter:

"These types of things ... leave a lot of unanswered questions ... you just don't know how to deal with it. And we have to, as Chief Crawford indicated, put our boots and our belts back on and head out onto the street. The officers have to continue to respond to calls, the dispatchers have to continue answering the phones ... So it's super important that we take care of each other so we can continue to do that."

The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Gallatin County sheriff's department and the Park County coroner continue their investigation.

Copyright 2017 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.