Driver meets family in Montana and opens fire, killing father and toddler
A man hit a family with his vehicle Sunday as they were walking along a road near Glacier National Park in Montana and then shot them with a shotgun, killing a man and his 18-month-old daughter, reports said the authorities with.
The gunman also seriously injured two other family members; One of them mortally wounded him after attacking her with a knife, the Glacier County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The victims who were fatally shot have been identified as David Siau, 39, and his daughter McKenzie of Syracuse, NY. Authorities said Mr. Siau and his family were visiting the town of East Glacier Park in Montana’s Rocky Mountains at the time the attack occurred.
Two other family members, Christy Siau, 40, and Christina Siau, 30, of East Glacier Park, were seriously injured in the attack, authorities said. A GoFundMe page identified Christy Siau as Mr. Siau’s wife and Christina Siau as his sister.
The Glacier County Sheriff’s Office identified the shooter as Derick Amos Madden, 37, of Goldsby, Okla. The sheriff’s office didn’t give a motive for the attack, but said Mr. Madden had previously been in a relationship with Christina Siau, and that he had unspecified “mental health issues.”
Just before 9 p.m. local time on Sunday, Mr. Madden “deliberately drove his vehicle” into the family and, after crashing it into a tree, got out armed with a shotgun and “started shooting at the same victims he had just been.” hit or attempted to hit his vehicle,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
According to the sheriff’s office, Mr. Madden fatally shot Mr. Siau and then continued to shoot the rest of the family as they ran away. He injured Mr Siau’s wife Christy Siau and killed their 18-month-old daughter McKenzie, who was being held by her mother, authorities said.
Mr. Madden attacked Christina Siau with a knife, the sheriff’s office said. “During this attack, Christina was fighting for her life and, although she was seriously injured,” authorities added, “mortally wounded Madden,” who died at the scene.
Two other children were present but managed to escape and were not injured, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said the two women and the 18-month-old man were taken to a hospital in Browning, Montana, about 13 miles northeast of East Glacier Park. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the two women were flown to another location for more intensive treatment for “serious injuries,” they said.
The attack was “isolated to this incident,” the sheriff’s office added, “with a clear connection between the victims and Madden.” The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said.
On Wednesday evening, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a video testimony from John Siau, David’s father and McKenzie’s grandfather. He told what he had told his other children.
“Mourn, be sad, but don’t harbor anger about what happened,” he said, “because what we’ve seen is actually the result of someone harboring anger in their own life and allowing it to.” fester and allow it to grow and develop into something very terrible and unspeakable.” Continuing to quote passages from the Lord’s Prayer, he said, “Our goal is to forgive.”
Mr. Madden was formerly a member of the Oklahoma National Guard but left around 2013 and has had no further contact with the organization, Lt. Col. Geoff Legler, a spokesman for the guard.
Colonel Legler said Mr. Madden was a chemical operations specialist and had been trained to identify dangerous chemicals and inert some of them. Colonel Legler said he didn’t know Mr. Madden personally.
Public records indicate that Mr. Madden had lived in Oklahoma for several years.
A friend of Christina Siau, Haley Driver, described her as “quiet, cool and collected and such a joy to be around”. Ms. Driver said Ms. Siau, a medical assistant, is planning to move back to upstate New York after nearly four years in Montana, having recently accepted a job in Ithaca, NY
“She’s such a tough person,” Ms Driver said in a Facebook message. “I admire her so much for who she is and the value she brings to our lives.”
The Siau family was an active member of the Baptist church in upstate New York.
“We mourn with the Siau and Brownell families and will accompany them during this time of unimaginable grief,” Justin Baratta, who works at Missio Church in Syracuse, NY, said in an email. “It’s certainly a broken world.”
Bethany Siau, David and Christina’s sister, started a GoFundMe page to help with the family’s medical expenses.
“The number of people who are already reaching out and offering to help is incredible,” she wrote on the fundraising website. “We appreciate you all.”
Alex Trot contributed reporting.