A 21-year-old Billings man accused of shooting another man late Thursday afternoon in Butte made his initial appearance via video conference Friday in Judge Ben Pezdark’s Butte Justice Court.
Colby Allen Clark is charged with attempted deliberate homicide, robbery, tampering with evidence and criminal endangerment, all felonies. Clark did not enter a plea Friday afternoon since it was only an initial appearance, but Pezdark set bail at $1 million.
The attempted homicide charge carries maximum penalties of death, life in prison or up to 100 years. The robbery charge has a minimum of 10 years and maximum of 40 and tampering with evidence and criminal endangerment are each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
In the Butte incident, prosecutors say Clark shot the 26-year-old victim in the stomach and leg, endangered people’s lives during a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods, and then fled from officers on foot and tried to ditch a handgun.
The shooting took place in the parking lot near McGruff Park.
The victim, whose name has not been released, called Butte Emergency Dispatch at 5:17 p.m. Thursday to report the shooting.
Approximately one minute later, officers were on the scene. Medical treatment was rendered immediately and the victim was then taken to St. James Healthcare.
Butte-Silver-Bow Sheriff Ed Lester said the victim is expected to recover. It is believed the victim and the suspect knew each other, but the extent of their relationship is not known.
“In the next week we’ll be able to fill in the blanks,” said Sheriff Lester.
An officer investigating in the area saw the suspect driving in the 300 block of South Arizona Street. A pursuit ensued, with the suspect eventually crashing into a wrought-iron fence near the intersection of Utah and Second streets.
He then fled on foot, with the gun still in his possession, police said. Officers found him hiding behind some bushes in a yard on the 1000 block of South Wyoming Street.
He was taken into custody without incident and the weapon was retrieved nearby.
“Our officers did an outstanding job bringing him to custody,” the sheriff said.
Sheriff Lester said the entire incident — from the time dispatch received the 911 call to apprehending the suspect — unfolded in less than 10 minutes.
In addition, according to the sheriff, witnesses at the scene gave officers a detailed description of the suspect’s vehicle, which helped to quickly apprehend the alleged shooter.
“No one else was injured, including the suspect,” the sheriff said. “We’re thankful for that.”
The silver Ford Ranger involved in Thursday’s shooting has been identified as a vehicle of interest in a homicide that occurred just before 10 p.m. Sunday in the 100 block of South 31st Street in Billings.
The victim in the Billings homicide, who police found lying on the sidewalk, was identified as 50-year-old Micah Aaron Myron.
Myron died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. This was Billings’ first fatal shooting since June 2019.
On Thursday, the Billings Police Department issued a press release asking for public assistance in identifying a vehicle of interest, described as a small light-colored single-cab truck.
According to Billings police, the truck at the time of the shooting was occupied by two people, with a medium- to large-sized light-colored dog in the bed of the truck.
The Billings police are working closely with their Butte counterparts.
This is not the first shooting in recent memory at McGruff Park.
A 31-year-old woman was shot in the back while sitting in the back seat of a car at around 3:15 a.m. Jan. 18, 2018.
The victim, along with two males, was in a car parked, along with another vehicle, in the skateboard area of McGruff Park.
According to police reports, a third car pulled up and an unidentified person, using a 9-millimeter handgun, got out and fired two rounds through the windshield of the car, hitting the victim.
The woman, who had been transported to St. James Healthcare, recovered from her wound. No suspect has been arrested for that shooting and the case remains open.
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