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Community reacts after Bozeman PD arrests shooting suspect

Posted at 10:28 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 12:28:24-04

Two men are recovering and another man is behind bars after a shooting in downtown Bozeman early Thursday morning.

While the yellow tape behind Bar IX and several other bars was removed, the yellow tape around Bozeman Creek lingered well into the morning as city police investigated that area.

We do know that one Bozeman man has been arrested in connection with this -- and city police confirm that he was the actual shooter, himself.

"It's insane," says Diana Barton, longtime Bozeman resident. "We don't need guns."

The incident happened at 2:16 a.m. Thursday morning with Bozeman Police Deputy Chief Jim Veltkamp saying officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds in a parking lot downtown near the Rouse and Mendenhall intersection.

"Investigation revealed that there was a prior confrontation between the shooter and the victims sometime soon before this inside a nearby bar," Veltkamp said.

Veltkamp adds the men are expected to recover from what were shockingly minor wounds, “they were the type of injuries that it is surprising weren't more serious.

Detectives immediately began following leads, leading them to a Bozeman man. "We have made an arrest of an adult male that we believe was the actual shooter," Veltkamp said.

"I don’t find it acceptable," said Diana Barton who walks through that same area often -- and has for around 25 years.

While police say they are looking for several others who could be connected with what happened -- the new sight of yellow tape has her worried.

"Guns are awesome for hunting and protecting but not for going to a bar and shooting people," Barton says.

Veltkamp says Bozeman Creek nearby is part of the crime scene.

The deputy chief says he can’t confirm what they are looking for, other than possible key evidence.

But with one arrest already made, Barton hopes this isn’t a sign of a growing situation.

“When you go drinking, just leave your gun at home," Barton says.

Anyone with information about the Thursday morning incident is asked to contact the Bozeman Police Department at (406) 582-2000.