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Police have questioned several people about a shooting at McGruff Park in Butte early Thursday morning and talked briefly to a 31-year-old woman who was shot in the back, but they were still trying to pinpoint a suspect Friday.

“I’m confident we will be able to identify the shooter,” said Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich. “As information pours in and citizens come forward, I believe we will be able to identify the shooter.”

No arrests had been made as of early Friday afternoon, although a residence was searched Thursday night and searches were planned on two vehicles that were at the park when the incident happened at 3:15 a.m. Thursday.

But police are still trying to get a better description of the suspect’s vehicle and have not identified or located it, Skuletich said.

The woman and two male associates in one car pulled into the parking lot by the skateboard area of McGruff Park near the intersection of Shields Avenue and Second Street. Another car already was parked nearby.

A third car pulled up, and someone got out and fired two rounds from a 9-millimeter handgun through the windshield of the victim’s car, police said.

One bullet struck the woman in the back, and she underwent surgery at St. James Healthcare on Thursday. Skuletich did not have an updated condition on her Friday but said police planned to speak with her again.

“They talked to her originally for a while, but not to the extent we would have liked to,” Skuletich said. “She gave us some initial information, but it was basic information. We want her to get healthy first, then we will talk with her some more.”

Police questioned the two males who were in the car with the victim and believed they were being truthful “to an extent” about what they knew, Skuletich said.

Police had talked with several others who were either witnesses or might have known those involved, Skuletich said, and searched one residence early Thursday night.

“There were people living there that were involved or possibly staying there that were involved in the situation,” he said.

Police do not believe the shooting involved any outside drug influences coming into Butte.

“We believe these are locals or people from the area,” Skuletich said. “We are working with a group of individuals who are either tied to each other or are tied to the same type of lifestyle.”


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