MISSOULA — A 17-year-old boy is in custody after allegedly firing shots into the air on two separate occasions during a verbal disagreement between two groups of teenagers Monday night.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Department reported that two groups of juveniles were arguing near Big Sky High School when the boy left the argument to get a firearm from his car.
Missoula County Sheriff’s Capt. Brad Giffin said the boy then fired several shots into the air.
The suspect drove away with one group, while the other teenagers followed them. They told law enforcement officers later they followed the other group to get the vehicle’s license plate number.
Giffin reported both vehicles stopped on Big Flat Road, where the suspect fired shots into the air again.
Law enforcement responded to the shots around 11:30 p.m. and apprehended the 17-year-old on Big Flat Road, Giffin said.
After obtaining a search warrant, the sheriff’s department found a handgun in the vehicle.
The boy is charged with negligent endangerment and assault with a weapon, but the investigation is ongoing, Giffin reported.
He said that the decision to charge the boy as an adult depends on the outcome of the investigation, but as of now, the boy will be charged as a juvenile and the case will be heard in youth court. Law enforcement would not release the boy’s name because the matter is in youth court.