A Missoula man is being held on a felony charge of intimidation after being accused of threatening a mass shooting in Ravalli County.
Austin Jace Fugleberg, 26, appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on the felony charge, after being arrested Saturday at the Town Pump South in Lolo.
Law enforcement officers first contacted Fugleberg at his sister's home in Lolo on Aug. 16, after he allegedly told his social worker: “If you see me on the 10 o’clock news for shooting a bunch of people, I’m sorry."
Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Thorin Geist's charging affidavit laid out the following narrative:
While the officers were en route to the home, employees of the Town Pump South in Lolo, where Fugleberg worked, called to report he said he was going to kill people until he was killed.
One of the law enforcement officers contacted Fugleberg’s brother-in-law, who said he did not believe Fugleberg owned any firearms or had access to any. He said he had never seen Fugleberg shoot a firearm.
The other officer contacted Fugleberg at his sister’s home.
According to the affidavit, Fugleberg admitted making the remarks to his social worker. He told the officer he was frustrated about being homeless, not having any money and not being able to get any help or assistance. Fugleberg said he was intoxicated when he made the comment and that he was having mental health issues.
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After Fugleberg asked the officer for assistance, he was transported to Providence-St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula for an evaluation.
After the officer left Fugleberg at the hospital, he learned that a Town Pump South employee had flagged down a Missoula County sheriff’s officer that same day. That person said Fugleberg had stated: “I have a .410 shotgun and will go to the Ravalli County Fair and shoot people until I get shot.”
At that point, the Missoula County’s Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Hamilton Police Department, which in turn contacted Fugleberg. They told the man that he was not permitted on the Ravalli County Fairgrounds and that he would be arrested if seen there. Fugleberg told them he understood and that he had no intention of going to either Hamilton or the fairgrounds, according to the affidavit.
On Aug. 24, a Ravalli County sheriff’s corporal was assigned to follow up on the case. After contacting Missoula law enforcement and the employees at Town Pump to confirm the information presented to the Hamilton Police, he called Providence-St. Patrick Hospital. The affidavit said the hospital confirmed that Fugleberg had been treated for severe alcoholism on Aug. 16 and was released the same day, “apparently without a mental health evaluation having ever been completed.”
The Ravalli County sheriff’s officer then contacted Fugleberg at Town Pump in Lolo. After confirming that he had not received a mental evaluation, Fugleberg was taken into custody.
Fugleberg denied making any statements about the Ravalli County Fair at the time of his arrest.
Bailey set bail at $50,000, with a requirement that Fugleberg wears a GPS monitor if released from detention. As of Tuesday morning, Fugleberg was still housed at the Ravalli County Detention Center.