Montana Crime & Courts

Dec 3, 2012 2:36 PM by Erin Schattauer - MTN News

Man held on $100K bail for Bozeman shooting

BOZEMAN - A man who is accused of shooting a woman after a disagreement in the drive-through at a Taco Bell in Bozeman over the weekend is being held in the Gallatin County Detention Center on $100,000 bail.

Nathaniel John Budd, 22, of Livingston is charged with two counts of attempted deliberate homicide. He appeared before Justice Court Judge Bryan Adams on Monday morning by video conference from the detention center.

Deputy county attorney Shannon Foley called the shooting an "egregious" random act.

A male and female told police that they were in line at the Taco Bell drive through entrance near the Gallatin Valley Mall at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, waiting for traffic to move forward, when they noticed a Honda Civic behind them honking its horn and revving its engine.

The female in the vehicle, a Honda CRV, said she left her vehicle and swore at the driver of the Civic, telling him to go around, according to court documents.

A couple minutes later, the occupants of the CRV said they pulled forward and, at that time, Budd pulled into the oncoming traffic lane beside them. Another verbal altercation ensued. That's when Budd shot the female passenger twice, once in the leg and once in the back, according to court documents.

Three bullet holes were seen in the passenger side of the CRV. Three spent .45-caliber casings were found near the CRV's passenger side.

The suspect fled eastbound on Main Street after the shooting. Budd's vehicle was stopped by officers traveling northbound on North 19th Avenue heading onto the eastbound ramp to Interstate 90.

Inside the car, officers found a pump action shotgun, a pistol magazine pouch, two single stack pistol magazines and the bottom of the grip of a dark colored 1911-style handgun, partially visible under a bag in the vehicle, court documents state.

The woman was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital where she underwent surgery to remove a .45 caliber bullet from her back.

During an interview with police, Budd said he had bought food and was eating when a truck pulled up beside him and the woman inside started "acting crazy and screaming," court papers state.

Throughout the interview, Budd gave inconsistent statements regarding the woman's actions, at one point saying that he thought she might have had a knife or blade of some sort, court papers state. He said, though, that he did not actually see any weapons in the other vehicle.

Budd, who is originally from North Carolina and is unemployed at this time, is being represented by the public defender's office.

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