The two shooting incidents during the last week that have left three people dead in Billings are apparently unrelated, but they do share several alarming elements in common.
Both crimes were committed by known gang members, and both involved guns that were almost certainly stolen.
In fact, there’s nearly a free flow of guns in the Billings community that is contributing to a rise in violent crimes, city officials said during a press conference held Thursday to address the recent string of homicides.
On Wednesday morning, a 31-year-old man who was holding a 1-year-old infant, was shot dead in his north side home. When he fell, he fell on the baby, killing the boy, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said.
A SWAT team member runs as Billings police respond to the scene of a standoff with an alleged suspect in a fatal shooting on Wednesday.
Suspects from that shooting fled to two neighboring homes on the South Side, 312 and 313 South 28th Street where they holed up for more than five hours as a police SWAT team surrounded the homes.