NBC Dateline: How did Mason Moore die?

Mason Moore
The 2017 killing of Broadwater Sherrif's Deputy Mason Moore to feature on NBC Dateline's episode this Friday, February 3, 2023 (Image via Tunnel to Towers Foundation, IMDb)

In May 2017, Broadwater County deputy Mason Moore was shot to death in the line of duty by father-son duo Lloyd and Marshall Barrus, who held anti-government views, during a nighttime traffic stop. Moore, a married father-of-three, was found riddled with bullets.

The shooting incident led to a high-speed chase when authorities spotted the perpetrators and pursued them for at least 30 miles east of Missoula, where a shootout ensued. Marshall Barrus was fatally shot while Lloyd was arrested. He was eventually charged and convicted of the crime.

An upcoming two-hour special on NBC's Dateline will revisit the horrific crime this Friday, February 3, 2023. The all-new episode, titled On a Dark, Deserted Highway, will air on the channel at 9 pm ET.

Sherrif's Deputy Mason Moore was fatally shot by an anti-law enforcement father-son duo during a traffic stop


According to reports, Lloyd and Marshall Barrus, an anti-law enforcement and anti-government father-son duo, were on a "suicide mission" in the early hours of May 16, 2017. They drove past Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore, 42, in the US 287 south of Townsend at 100 mph to provoke him.

Lloyd Barrus was driving the car - a Chevy Suburban - while his son Marshall was riding shotgun.

Marshall Barrus then opened fire on Deputy Moore's vehicle during the unsuccessful traffic stop. He fired at least three shots at the officer when one hit the windshield, went through and hit him in the head, critically injuring him in the process and causing his car to stop on the grass just south of Three Forks.

The perpetrators then took a U-turn and proceeded back to the police car about four minutes later and fired another round of shots at the wounded Moore. He was shot at least 19 more times, which killed him. Marshall and Lloyd then fled the scene.

At the time of the incident, the victim had been in law enforcement for 15 years altogether, including three years with the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office. He was married to wife Jodi and was the father of twin sons and a daughter.

One of two perpetrators killed during a shootout with police not long after Deputy Mason Moore's killing


About an hour later, Butte-Silver Bow police spotted the Suburban speeding on I-90 and a 90-mile pursuit ensued, culminating in a shootout in Missoula County.

Despite the fact that two Butte patrol cars were disengaged during the chase by bullets fired from the Suburban, troopers and police from multiple counties were already on the scene.

Once the perpetrators' car tires were destroyed using stop sticks as the vehicle came to a stop just inside Missoula County, miles from the crime scene, a shootout with police ensued.

38-year-old Marshall was fatally shot and later died, while Lloyd managed to avoid injuries and was eventually taken into custody the same morning Deputy Mason Moore was killed.

The trial was delayed since Lloyd Barrus was previously facing the death penalty before being deemed unfit to stand trial. Barrus was given antipsychotic drugs by injection, and in January 2020, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the mandated medication order.

In September 2021, a jury in Butte eventually convicted him on two counts of attempted deliberate homicide for a high-speed chase and shootout, as well as deliberate homicide by accountability in Moore's death.

He later received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his involvement in the 2017 shooting death of Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore.

For further details on the case, tune in to Dateline on NBC this Friday, February 3, 2023.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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