Try 1 month for 99¢

A man suspected of attempting to burglarize a house was hospitalized with a gunshot wound following an officer-involved shooting north of downtown Billings Sunday afternoon.

There had not been any fatalities as of 3:30 p.m., according to Billings Police Lt. Brandon Wooley, who confirmed the shooting was officer-involved. Additional information about the person's condition was not immediately available, he said.

The other two burglary suspects ran from the scene and were not located, according to police.

One officer, who was uninjured, was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

The release did not include any information on the man's condition, where he was shot or what prompted police to fire at them. Follow-up phone calls to Wooley were not immediately returned Sunday evening. The release stated more information would be available Monday.

The incident originated at a house on the 1000 block of North 31st Street. The homeowner, Mary Huschka, told The Gazette that her neighbors noticed the attempted burglary while she and her husband were out of town and called police.

The alleged burglary was reported to police at 2:17 p.m., Wooley stated in the press release.

"Upon arrival, three suspects were located in a vehicle and shots were fired," Wooley stated. "The suspect vehicle fled and was located a couple blocks away near the intersection of 11th Avenue North and North Broadway."

Miles Bessman, who lives nearby on 11th Avenue North, said he witnessed the vehicle speeding from the alley after the shooting.

"I came out onto the porch," Bessman said. "I heard several gunshots, I would say five or six shots."

He said a silver passenger car, with multiple bullet holes visible in the windshield, then raced out of the alley and struck a large flower pot before turning northbound.

Within an hour of the burglary report, police had cordoned off an area in front of the Hilltop Inn on the 1100 block of North Broadway, including a portion of the hotel's parking lot. A silver Chevrolet Impala sat in the middle of the street, with five bullet holes visible in the windshield and the driver's side door open with the window partially smashed.

By Sunday evening, a team of Billings police detectives remained on scene.

Immediately following the shooting, more than a dozen police cars fanned out over a large area north of downtown, extending roughly from Ninth to 12th avenues north and between North 24th and North 30th streets.

Officers, with rifles drawn, could be seen patrolling the alleys in the neighborhood for more than an hour. Police cars with flashing lights had posted up at most of the intersections, although traffic was allowed to proceed through the area.

At the scene of the attempted burglary, Huschka said one of her neighbors called police after hearing what sounded like windows being smashed in the garage.

No one was home at the time of the alleged break-in attempt, she said, adding that she is working on fixing up the house and lives elsewhere in the neighborhood.

"How lucky we weren't there, because we're there every day," she added.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Photographer Larry Mayer contributed reporting to this story.


Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.