Man charged with downtown shooting incident

2014-07-18T15:10:00Z 2014-07-21T06:56:16Z Man charged with downtown shooting incidentBy ZACH BENOIT The Billings Gazette

A Billings man was charged on Friday with shooting toward two women on Thursday night in downtown Billings.

Jerimiah Daniel Cooper, 21, appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court by video from the county jail, where Judge Pedro Hernandez charged him with a felony count of criminal endangerment.

Hernandez set Cooper’s bond at $10,000 and ordered him to appear in District Court on July 28.

Charging documents filed on Friday state that Billings police officers responded to the area of Fourth Avenue North and North 29th Street on Thursday evening on a report that a man had fired a shot from a handgun and pointed it at someone.

Nearby, police found Cooper, who matched the description provided by callers, and several other people. Cooper told officers that he fired a shot into a group of two men and two women who were chasing him, according to the affidavit.

He said that he was “carrying his gun ‘open carry’ but with no holster” and was walking back to his vehicle after drinking downtown when the group began to aggressively follow him while saying “come here, come here,” court documents state.

Cooper initially had trouble showing the officers where the incident happened and “changed his mind and seemed unfamiliar with the downtown area” before settling on the area of Fourth and North 29th.

He also told officers that he drank six Redd’s Strawberry Ales and two mixed alcoholic beverages before the incident. A breath sample provided later to police indicated that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.12 percent, according to the charging documents.

Police found a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun, which Cooper said was his, in a nearby vehicle

When police spoke with the first woman to report the incident, she said that she saw a male standing in the road on Fourth and waving a gun at two women who were about 25 feet away. He pointed the gun at them and then fired one shot in their direction before running off into an alley, the woman reported to police.

“She said the women were not chasing the male nor did they appear to be aggressive toward him,” the affidavit states.

A second woman told police that she was driving with her children in the vehicle when a male looked at her, pulled out a gun and cocked it, according to court documents.

She told an officer that she didn’t see anyone chasing the man, the affidavit states.

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

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