Deputy Sheriff Joe Dunn
Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, Montana
End of Watch: Thursday, August 14, 2014
Tour of Duty: 2 years, 5 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: August 14, 2014
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Bob Edwards
Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
3800 Ulm North Frontage Road
Great Falls, MT 59404
Phone: (406) 454-6820
Deputy Sheriff Joe Dunn was struck and killed by a vehicle that was being pursued by other deputies near Belt, Montana.
The driver of the vehicle had been pursued from Great Falls, Montana, along Highway 87 at high speeds when he struck Deputy Dunn near mile marker 77, killing him. The man then turned around the continued back to Great Falls, where he was taken into custody.
Deputy Dunn was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office for 2-1/2 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Joe Dunn, 33, was identified Friday by the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office as the deputy who was killed in the line of duty Thursday after being struck by a vehicle being pursued by law enforcement east of Great Falls.
County Attorney John Parker also identified the suspect in Dunn’s death as Adam Sanchez Jr. of Great Falls, who court filings indicate was free pending sentencing after pleading guilty to two criminal endangerment charges in connection with an armed robbery and another chase with deputies in November.
Dunn had been with the sheriff’s office for two years and five months. He was a Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan and is survived by his parents, two siblings, a wife and two small children.
"Our hearts are heavy and full of sorrow at the loss of our brother," Sheriff Bob Edwards said in a statement. "No words can truly describe how we feel."
"Deputy Dunn gave the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved — protecting the citizens of Cascade County," he said. "Deputy Dunn will be missed but never forgotten. Thank you for your dedication and service to the citizens of Cascade County."
"Godspeed Deputy Dunn," Edwards said.
Sanchez, 40, was apprehended after a lengthy high-speed pursuit that ended with a crash and a fight with law enforcement in Black Eagle. Great Falls police are leading the investigation into the incident.
"We are working on it heavily, as you can might well imagine," police spokesman Sgt. Bryan Slavik said.
On Friday, Sanchez was hospitalized and under guard, Slavik said. It is routine for injured suspects to be held at the hospital pending formal booking into the Cascade County Detention Center, he said.
Dunn died after being struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 89 in the vicinity of mile marker 77, east of Great Falls and before the turnoff to Belt.
Sheriff’s deputies and Montana Highway Patrol troopers were in pursuit of Sanchez at the time. Speeds reached in excess of 100 miles per hour, according to court records.
The chase began in Great Falls and reached as far as Geyser in Judith Basin County, where Sanchez allegedly turned around and headed back toward the city.
Dunn was apparently struck by Sanchez’s vehicle on the return leg of the pursuit.
Dunn was transported to Benefis Health Systems, where he was pronounced dead at 4:29 p.m., according to the Fergus County Coroner’s Office.