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A 38-year-old Butte male was shot in the ankle, allegedly over a fight about a woman, at about 2 a.m. Sunday at Front and Dakota Streets, according to Butte-Silver Bow County Undersheriff George Skuletich.

Police arrested Gary Mattix, 31, of Butte, on five felony counts: Assault with a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of dangerous drugs and possession with intent to sell. Police also charged Mattix with two misdemeanors: Possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The victim was treated at St. James Healthcare and released within an hour. No one else was injured.

Police were called to Front and Dakota Streets because of a report of a male firing a firearm. Officers stopped a vehicle in the area and spoke to a female in the vehicle. She allegedly told them Mattix had taken off running. Officers were able to follow Mattix’s footprints in the snow, which led them to a stack of tires behind the Safeway on Front Street.

Police found Mattix hiding inside the tires.

While talking to Mattix, another call came in of a male victim shot in the ankle who was in the 1000 block of Placer Street. The victim had been shot with a .22 caliber handgun. The bullet pierced the victim’s boot and went through his ankle.

Police learned that Mattix and the victim knew each other and that Mattix allegedly shot the victim. While placing Mattix under arrest, police found baggies of what officers believe to be 15 grams of methamphetamine, as well as a glass pipe usually used to smoke methamphetamine, Skuletich said. They also found patches of Suboxone, used to treat narcotic addition, according to Skuletich. Police also allegedly found burglary tools and items stolen from residents in the Butte area, including credit cards belonging to other people.

The firearm was also allegedly stolen.

Skuletich said there is no evidence this incident is related to the McGruff Park shooting last month. In that incident, a 31-year-old woman was shot in the back by an unknown assailant while sitting in the back seat of a car.

Police held Mattix for 48 hours while deciding on what counts to bring against him. Skuletich said police do not believe drugs were involved in this shooting. Police are investigating whether they can link Mattix to previous crimes that involved the credit cards and other stolen items allegedly found on him.  

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Nat'l Resources / General Reporter

Environmental and natural resources reporter for the Montana Standard.

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