Chief: Suspect in downtown Billings shooting likely shot himself

2013-07-15T14:08:00Z 2013-07-16T16:57:05Z Chief: Suspect in downtown Billings shooting likely shot himselfBy GREG TUTTLE gtuttle@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The man wounded in a shooting early Saturday in downtown Billings likely shot himself, Police Chief Rich St. John said Monday.

Anthony Kenneth Allen, 44, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg during a confrontation with Officer Marc Snider at about 12:15 a.m. During a press conference Monday, St. John said there is a "high probability" that Allen shot himself while pulling a .22-caliber revolver from his waistband.

Snider, who has been placed on paid administrative leave, fired his .40-caliber handgun nine times, St. John said. Two of the nine rounds fired by the officer were accounted for by police detectives, the chief said.

St. John said he is "obviously relieved" that no one was seriously injured during the incident.

Allen was charged Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court with felony assault on a peace officer. His bond was set at $50,000 after a prosecutor said Allen has a criminal record, including two felony convictions, in several states.

Allen is schedueld to be arraigned Aug. 6 in District Court. 

At the press conference, St. John said Snider encountered Allen after officers responded to a report of a man with a gun at the Stampede Country Sports Bar on North 28th Street.

The reports were that a man had been displaying a gun inside and outside the bar. St. John said there were apparently no threats made with the gun.

Snider located Allen walking near the corner of Third Avenue North and North 29th Street. The officer told Allen to stop and show his hands, St. John said.

Allen appeared to reach for something in his waist and was turning toward Snider when the officer heard a gunshot, St. John said.

Snider then fired, striking a bench and a tree, but apparently missing Allen, who was about 25 yards away, the police chief said.

Allen told officers he was withdrawing the gun from his pants to put it down when he shot himself, St. John said.

Allen was taken to Billings Clinic and was arrested after he was released from the hospital. St. John said doctors did not remove the bullet from Allen's leg.

The Police Department will review the shooting, St. John said, and a shooting review board will also be convened later.   

Snider will undergo debriefing and meet with a mental-health professional before returning to duty, St. John said. A four-year member of the department, Snider was one of several officers involved in the fatal exchange of gunfire with a man at downtown motel on May 24, 2012.            

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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