A Billings man has been charged with six felonies after allegedly firing a gun multiple times from his front porch toward a woman and toward an occupied park, according to charging court documents.
Bruce Asael Tall Jr., 59, has been charged with one count of assault with a weapon, and five counts of criminal endangerment for firing a gun in the direction of a group of people, including children. They are all felony charges. Tall is held at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on a $30,000 bond with a GPS monitor if bond is posted. He was scheduled to appear in Yellowstone County Justice court on Friday.
Around 10 p.m., on Thursday Billings Police responded to reports that Tall shot multiple rounds from his front porch. Tall allegedly fired five shots toward Castlerock Park, where several families were sitting watching fireworks, according to charging documents.
When officers arrived at the house, Tall and a woman were sitting on the front porch. Both appeared to be highly intoxicated and the woman with Tall seemed to be scared, police reported. BPD officer Jeremy Boeckel asked the pair where the gun was.
Tall denied having a gun or shooting a gun. After Boeckel searched around the porch with a flashlight he saw spent pistol casings. They were .40 caliber Smith and Wesson casings.
Police again asked about a gun, and Tall said he didn’t have a gun or shoot a gun. Boeckel looked again and found two more spent casings on a blanket Tall was sitting on.
Police confronted Tall with the spent casing and he admitted he had shot some rounds because “it was the Fourth of July,” court docs say.
Officers pat searched the woman and did not find a gun, and Tall told officers they weren’t taking his gun.
Police arrested Tall and took him to the detention facility. Boeckel then talked to the woman, and she told him the gun was inside in a safe. She also pointed in the direction that Tall had fired the gun.
She pointed to the tree in the front yard which separates the house, Wicks Lane and Castlerock Park, court docs say. Tall allegedly fired five shots in the direction of the occupied park, across a street with heavy traffic from a fireworks display.
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Boeckel walked over to the park to make sure no one was injured there. He spoke with several families at the park who were watching fireworks, but the further he got from the house the more people assumed the gunshots were just fireworks.
One family he questioned said that they had heard shots and knew it was from gunfire, but no one in the party was injured.
Around the same time a woman had also called police after she tried to park her car in front of Tall’s house and Tall began to yell at her and fired his gun. The woman told police she felt threatened and feared Tall would shoot her. She was not injured in the incident.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
This shooting is just one in a series of gun and weapons related incidents in or near Billings parks over the past week.
On Friday morning law enforcement responded to a reported stabbing. A man was found with a stab wound on the edge of Riverfront Park on Friday morning, and the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office believe the stabbing occurred around 5 a.m. Investigators currently do not know where the man was actually stabbed.
Police are also still investigating a shooting that took place in another Billings park on Sunday morning. Three teens were shot in Pioneer Park around 3 a.m. on June 30. All three were taken to local hospitals, and one was described as having "serious injuries." The police are still looking for the shooter.
Pioneer Park was also where a woman was critically injured after touching a downed live wire from a NorthWestern Energy utility pole on Saturday. The woman is still in a medically induced coma.
And on Monday a man was arrested for firing a gun on the 200 block of South 27th Street, and then fleeing from police officers.