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Billings police arrest homicide suspect in downtown shooting

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 19:22:05-04

Court documents released Tuesday provide more details on what happened when two men were shot in downtown Billings in late June.

According to charging documents filed against 18-year-old Brijen Jimohn Fisher, police were first notified of the shooting in a parking lot off North 27th Street at about 11:45 p.m. on June 24. A report was made to police of multiple gunshots and a victim on the ground in an alley.

An officer arrived to find the victim, previously identified as 22-year-old Thaddeus Maurice Merrit of Chicago, in the alley with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was awake and breathing. While giving aid to Merrit, the officer noticed another person on the ground nearby also suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was later identified as Fisher, court records state.

When officers made contact with Fisher he allegedly "boasted" that he was a good shot and that he "lit him up," the charging documents state.

Both men were taken to Billings hospitals where Merrit later died. Fisher has been charged with deliberate homicide.

Court documents state Fisher agreed to give a statement to police and said prior to the shooting he got out of his car and was walking when another man "walked past him and was staring hard at him," court records state." Fisher said the man pulled a gun and shot him once. Fisher said he ducked down, grabbed his gun and started shooting at the man. The man fell to the ground, he said, and started screaming. Fisher said he walked away and was shot multiple times in the back and legs and fell to the ground between two parked cars.

Police said they later found six bindles of suspected drugs in Fisher's clothing, which had been removed by medical staff.

Two days after the shooting police retrieved surveillance video from a camera on a nearby building. According to court records, the video shows Fisher walking with about four other people toward another group of people, including Merrit. As the groups got closer Fisher "pulls out a gun and begins shooting the victim multiple times" at "point-blank range," court records state. After Merrit fell to the ground Fisher fired two more shots.

Merrit then fired several rounds at Fisher while he was on the ground, court records state, hitting Fisher in the legs and ankle.