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No pattern visible in rise in shootings, Billings police say

No pattern visible in rise in shootings, Billings police say

There have been as many shooting incidents in Billings during the first nine months of 2009 as in the previous two years combined, according to the Billings Police Department.

From Jan. 1 to Aug. 26 of this year, there have been 10 incidents in which somebody fired a gun at another person, police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Iffland said. That number includes the Thursday morning shooting death of 29-year-old Troy Holland in an alley behind the Rainbow Motel, 421 St. John's Ave.

There were two such shooting incidents in 2008 and eight in 2007. Iffland said information on crime statistics in Billings is analyzed by state officials but that, so far, there doesn't appear to be a concrete reason for the rise in the number of shootings.

"There's no real pattern going on that we can see," he said.

He also said that it is important to note that just because it is reported as a shooting doesn't necessarily mean anybody was injured, only that they were shot at. Not included in those numbers are incidents in which somebody reported hearing gunfire or unoccupied homes were fired at.

Half of this year's 10 incidents have happened since July 27, and in all five instances a bullet struck somebody. Holland is the only person to be killed.

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