A man has been charged in a mid-October shooting that was followed by a string of gun violence late in the month.
Roderick Roman Plentyhawk, 32, appeared on a felony assault with a weapon charge on Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court.
According to charges, a witness said that on Oct. 17, she saw a white pickup pull up to an alley near the intersection of Fourth Avenue South and South 28th Street. Two men and a woman got out. The witness heard one of the men say, “There’s (Victim 1)” and then heard three or four gunshots. The witness heard one of the men addressed as “Roderick” and believed it referred to Plentyhawk.
The man who was shot at ran away, and the two men left in the truck, the witness said. Charging documents did not specify where the woman went.
Video surveillance from the Bubble Bath Carwash confirmed most of what the witness told investigators, charges state.
The victim from the Oct. 17 shooting later gave an interview with a police detective. The victim had been 10-15 feet away from Plentyhawk when Plentyhawk pulled a handgun from his waistband or pocket and began shooting at him, he told investigators. He immediately ran away, and a bullet grazed his left calf, he told the detective.
The victim said he’d been shot at a second time, on Oct. 23, near St. Johns Avenue and 11th Street West. The victim told a detective he noticed an older-looking car parked along the street and then heard someone yell, “Hey,” and began shooting at him.
Police officers found a shell casing in the area, but could not confirm that the victim had been shot at in the manner he described, according to Lt. Dave Cardillo, of the Billings Police Department.
The Oct. 17 shooting was the first in a string of several in late October. On Oct. 18, two Billings police officers shot a man in the parking lot of the Lazy KT Motel. The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The BPD later issued a press release updating his status to “stable.”
On Oct. 23, a 35-year-old man was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his torso after a shooting on the 900 block of North 19th Street.
And on Oct. 25, a man walked into Lee’s Saloon, a bar on Billings’ South Side, and fired two shots. No one was injured, BPD officials said.
Cardillo said detectives believe there may be connections among the shootings but cannot yet say so for sure. He said he doesn’t believe there is a threat to the public, but that anyone who sees something that looks suspicious should call 911.
“Crime is mobile,” he said. “And it can be in your neighborhood very quickly.”