Montana Law Enforcement Museum

212 E. Broadway
Philipsburg, MT 59858
(406) 859-6536

Patrolman Michael M. Ren

Montana Highway Patrol

Department Patch

Patrolman Michael Ren was shot and killed after being called to assist a deputy from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in serving two felony warrants on a recently released mental patient. The suspect was wanted for violating terms of his release from a State mental health facility. Patrolman Ren spotted the suspect driving a pickup truck and a high-speed chase ensued. During the chase, the suspect retrieved a .308 rifle from inside the cab of his pickup and opened fire on both officers. Five rounds struck Patrolman Ren's patrol car before the suspect crashed in the town of Eureka. As Patrolman Ren pulled up, the suspect jumped from his truck and shot Ren in the abdomen with the .308, the round traveled in between in the back panels of his Kevlar vest. The suspect ran to a nearby residence and took the household hostage. Officers from the Sheriff's department, Highway Patrol and U.S. Border Patrol surrounded the residence. After six hours, the suspect released his hostages but remained barricaded inside the house. Three canisters of tear gas were fired into the house, and the suspect surrendered. The suspect was charged with murder of a police officer and was committed to a mental institution. He was later released and committed suicide. His wife, 5-year-old son and his parents survived patrolman Ren. In 2000 Patrolman Ren's son joined the Montana Highway Patrol. Patrolman Ren had been with the agency for six years and previously he was a police officer in Columbia Falls, Montana, for two years. He was assigned to District VI.

End of Watch:
April 8, 1978
On the Force:
6 years