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Police add details in fatal Miles City shooting

Police add details in fatal Miles City shooting

The Miles City Police Department on Monday wrapped up its investigation into a deadly shooting that occurred in the parking lot of a bar Saturday.

According to Miles City police, the woman killed in the incident was Catherine Woods, 26, of Miles City, and the gunman, who later shot himself, was Justin Schiller, 32, also of Miles City. Jace Beardsley, 27, of Miles City, was injured during the shooting.

The shooting occurred just after midnight outside the Golden Spur Bar and Casino, 1014 S. Haynes Ave.

Schiller and Woods got in an argument in the parking lot, and Woods and Beardsley got into her car to leave, said Kevin Krausz, the Miles City chief of police. Schiller went to his truck, got a semi-automatic pistol and fired 14 shots at Woods, who was attempting to drive away. Two shots hit her, and shrapnel and bullet fragments hit Beardsley, Krausz said.

Victim pronounced dead

From the passenger seat, Beardsley called 911 while driving to Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City. Woods was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Beardsley's injuries were not life-threatening, and he was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon, Krausz said.

"He did everything he could to get her there as fast as he could," he said.

Schiller drove away and was found dead at about 10 a.m. Saturday in his truck on Tongue River Road in a remote area about 60 miles from Miles City. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Krausz said.

Krausz said Woods and Schiller had been dating but were no longer a couple.

John Tooke, the owner of the Golden Spur, said the three were socializing in the bar and left together a few minutes before the shooting.

His employees at the bar had no idea a serious conflict was brewing, he said.

Toxicology reports

Woods, Schiller and Beardsley had been drinking, Krausz said, and police are waiting on toxicology reports to determine whether Schiller had been using illegal drugs.

Autopsies have been performed on Schiller and Woods.

Tooke, who has owned the Golden Spur for 19 years, said the shooting was a "senseless tragedy that has had an effect on many local families."

Officers with the Custer County Sheriff's Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, Rosebud County Sheriff's Office and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks assisted in the search for Schiller.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security helicopter and a crew from Great Falls also helped in the search.

Contact Laura Tode at or 657-1392.


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