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Police shooting victim accused of stalking woman

by Daily Inter Lake
| March 5, 2021 12:00 AM

A Flathead Valley man who was killed last weekend by a Kalispell Police officer had two current orders of protection against him for alleged stalking incidents involving a local woman, her family and the church they attended.

Kalispell Police officer Brady Gray fatally shot Isaiah Strong, 41, of Kalispell on Feb. 26 after he allegedly assaulted her with a wood club inside a gas station at the intersection of U.S. 93 and Cemetery Road, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office was called in to investigate the incident. Detectives and the county Crime Scene Unit responded. The initial investigation determined Strong assaulted Gray when he came out of the bathroom. Strong allegedly was swinging a large wood object similar to a short baseball bat, striking the officer.

After the initial assault, Strong allegedly went after a patron in the store. Strong then turned his attention back to the officer, assaulting her again, striking her in the upper body and head, the press release stated. The officer, being assaulted a second time and without immediate backup, responded with deadly force.

Investigators are still waiting on toxicology results from the state crime lab.

ACCORDING TO court documents, Flathead County Justice of the Peace Eric Hummel issued two orders of protection on behalf of a 22-year-old Columbia Falls woman and her family’s church on Sept. 30, 2020. The orders were to be effective for two years.

After the woman and a church elder provided evidence of the events involving Strong, Hummel determined stalking was proven and the people seeking protection were in danger of harm.

Strong was ordered to stop committing further acts of violence or threats of violence. He was also ordered to stay at least 1,500 feet from the woman, her home, workplace, vehicle and any place where she was.

In the woman’s statement requesting a protection order, she said Strong wanted to date her when she was 16.

She wrote “He is a psycho I would say and definitely has mental problems. I don’t feel safe now after what’s been going on,” the woman wrote.

“Isaiah I feel he is very unpredictable and may hurt someone, me, my family.”

IN A second court document detailing Strong’s stalking, the church elder who filed for an order of protection on behalf of himself and the church explained the man’s behavior during the summer of 2020 in a written statement.

“Isaiah has been coming to the [church] in Columbia Falls off and on for a few years. Recently over the last few months, Isaiah has become disgruntled due to a relationship he can’t have.

“Isaiah has had an obsession over a young, 22-year-old girl who still lives with her parents and that her father will not let him date or marry his daughter,” the church elder wrote. “Isaiah is in his forties and has stated to friends that the Lord has told him that he and the young girl are supposed to be together and get married.

“Due to the father saying no, Isaiah brought his concerns to the church leaders i.e. the pastor and elders who told him this was not a church matter and as long as she is under his household, even though she is an adult, that he has the right to keep Isaiah from coming over to see his daughter. Also, I would like to note that Isaiah was attempting to see his daughter when she was still a minor years ago.”

The church elder also shared a conversation among himself, Strong and another elder. During their talk, the elder asked Strong how the father feels about the situation and how the woman feels about him.

“That is when he exploded in rage and began to yell and swear in front of me and another elder,” the elder wrote.

The elder said when Strong calmed down he asked him why he became enraged when asked how the father felt. He said Strong looked at him in a funny way, stared at him and said he didn’t realize he did that.

“This I think might be because of Isaiah’s past drug abuse,” the elder alleged in his statement.

The elder also wrote that Strong yelled out remarks during its time of prayer and praise time, “calling us deceivers because we wouldn’t help to talk the father into allowing Isaiah to date his daughter.”

ONE DISRUPTION during church services convinced the elder it was time to talk to the police.

“Mr. Strong blurted out ‘that there are deceivers among us and he is the dragon and at high noon next Saturday he would put an end to this.’”

“This, I took as a direct threat and so I went to the Columbia Falls P.D. and talked to them about the situation,” the elder wrote.

The elder also explained in his statement that church leaders took the threat very seriously due to the number of church shootings in the country and “the family of the young lady have not attended church regularly for fear of what Isaiah might do.”

The church elder also said the pastor told him Strong’s work leader had fired the disgruntled man because he brought a handgun to work and over concern of what Strong may do because of an outburst he had at work.

Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or shindledecker@dailyinterlake.com