BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Deb Klusman was 800 miles from home attending a nephew’s wedding in Arizona when her alarm company contacted her on April 23 to say the interior garage door of her Billings home had been kicked in.
She told the alarm company to call the police. Then the police called her, to warn her not to go home, and ask if she had pets in the house. Soon after, police called again, this time to ask mysteriously if she could provide them a floor plan of her home, and they wanted the access code to her door locks.
Klusman — a 68-year-old widowed, retired school teacher who lives alone — didn’t hear from police again for the rest of the day. She had to piece together from neighbors and news reports that a murder suspect who police were hunting for had barricaded himself inside her home.
Michael McClure was running from police that morning in a stolen van with a woman he had just met, Kristy Chavez. Police chased the pair to the West End, through high-end residential neighborhoods, over curbs and lawns, until they crashed into a parked cargo trailer and ran away. Inside the van, police found the van’s owner, who had been shot dead.
Chavez was quickly arrested, but McClure, armed with a handgun, kept running from house to house looking for a place to hide. At one home, he tried unsuccessfully to shoot through a door lock, and then he got to Klusman’s house on the 4000 block of Ridgewood Lane Court. He…