On New Year's Eve, just outside Evaro, Sheriff's Captain Tony Rio fired his duty weapon twice at Eugene Statelen, 42, as he was allegedly attempting to run Rio and Deputy Jace Dicken over with his vehicle.

KGVO News contacted Lieutenant Dave Conway regarding the sheriff's department's official policy on the use of force in general. Conway said the use of force is defined in five different levels.

"The first is constructive authority, or command presence," Conway said. "Number two is communication, that is talking to people and giving commands. The third would be physical contact, putting our hands on people with minimal force. Next would be physical control methods, medium force using things like OC spray. Next would be serious physical control methods, including use of a expandable batons or a Tazer."

Conway describes the final level, the use of deadly force.

"The definition of lethal force in our policy manual is 'force that is used by a deputy or an officer for the purpose of causing, or which the officer knows he creates the substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury," Conway said. "When lethal force is justified, the means by which force is applied is irrelevant. When using this level of force, it is preferred that it be accompanied with verbal directions or commands."

"The definition of lethal force in our policy manual is 'force that is used by a deputy or an officer for the purpose of causing, or which the officer knows he creates the substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury," Conway said. "When lethal force is justified, the means by which force is applied is irrelevant. When using this level of force, it is preferred that it be accompanied with verbal directions or commands."

Conway said using deadly force takes its toll on the officers involved.

"Every day we put on the uniform, an armored vest, and all the tools necessary to do our job of protecting people," he said. "Sometimes when we're trying to protect the public, that puts us in harm's way. Sometimes we have to use those weapons, up to an including the gun to protect ourselves and to protect the public. And, it does take a toll on the individual. It's not a job for everybody. We try to help our officers and help each other through it as best we can, and all we ask is for some understanding from the public that we're really there for them."

Conway said the Sheriff's Office has received support from the community in its efforts to protect the public.

"I think in general in Missoula, we live in a really good community where people understand and respect what we're here to do and we appreciate that," he said.

The investigation into the shooting in Evaro has been completed by the Missoula Police Department and the results have been forwarded to the Missoula County Attorney's Office.