Lodge Grass shooting

Crime scene tape surrounds a property at Helen Street and Second Avenue in Lodge Grass Saturday. A shooting there Friday left three people dead and two injured. 

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

The three people killed in a shootout in Lodge Grass Friday were not residents of the home where the incident took place, the FBI said Monday.

The three homicide victims entered a house on the 200 block of North Helen Street "when an altercation took place which resulted in an exchange of gun fire," FBI Supervisor Travis Burrows said in the statement.

No suspects have been identified in the investigation, Burrows said.

Burrows didn't give reasons for the altercation, or why the three victims, Leslie Frank Nomee Jr., 27, his wife Denise Stewart Nomee, 25, and Nehemiah Brokenrope, 30, were at the residence.

Two other people injured in the gunfight were already at the house when the three arrived, Burrows said. One of them is still hospitalized. Burrows didn't elaborate on the victim's condition, or on whether any other people were in the house at the time of the shooting.

"Several witnesses have been interviewed and have provided statements to investigators," the FBI release stated.

There are no public safety concerns related to a shooter potentially still being at large, Burrows said.

The day after the shooting, Crow Tribal Chairman Alvin "A.J." Not Afraid Jr. told members of the media that the investigation had already identified meth and gang-related activity to have played a role in the incident.

All three victims died from gunshot wounds, Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis said Sunday, and their manners of death are listed as homicides.

All three were enrolled members of the Crow Tribe, according to the FBI press release. Bullis listed all three as residents of Lodge Grass.

The investigation, which is being led by the FBI, is still ongoing.

In response to the shootings, Not Afraid called for tribal members to volunteer for a community watch program to help prevent future violence, spokesman Levi Flinn said.

Not Afraid issued the request during a Monday town hall meeting attended by about 100 tribal members, Flinn said. The chairman cited a shortage of police on the 5,000-square-mile reservation in part due to vacancies within the law enforcement division of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, which oversees the reservation.

A 9 p.m.-to-5 a.m. reservationwide curfew imposed after the shooting was to remain in place until further notice as a precaution, Crow officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.