A man arrested on suspicion of accidentally shooting his girlfriend in the chin made an initial court appearance Thursday on a charge of criminal endangerment.
Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputies arrested 27-year-old Christopher Ryan Gross Wednesday night after responding to a call in Lockwood of an accidental shooting, according to Sheriff Mike Linder.
Charging documents say deputies at the Lockwood home found a blood-covered woman, later identified as Gross' girlfriend, with an "obvious bullet hole in her chin."
She was taken to a Billings hospital and “appears to have extensive injuries as the bullet likely traveled down her spine after entering through her chin,” according to the affidavit.
Gross initially refused to let a deputy read him his rights "because he believed only people under arrest need their rights read and was not at that time under arrest," the court documents state.
He later told the deputy he is a disabled veteran and was very upset at the government. Gross went on to say that he called a local television station to talk about his experience in the military and, in order to make a statement to his girlfriend, grabbed a handgun from the kitchen, according to charging documents.
He didn't check to see if the gun was loaded, and while sitting on a couch and swinging the gun up and down, it went off with a round hitting his girlfriend, the affidavit states.
Gross then called 911.
A preliminary breath test also revealed that Gross had a blood-alcohol level of 0.220 percent, according to charging documents.
He appeared by video from the county jail before Justice Court Judge Pedro R. Hernandez, who set bond at $25,000 and ordered Gross to appear for arraignment in District Court on Aug. 7.