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Court documents provide details about a shooting in Great Falls

Suspect arrested after an overnight shooting in Great Falls
Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 22, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Court documents released on Wednesday provide new details about a shooting that happened in Great Falls on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

The shooting outside Taco Bell on 10th Avenue South resulted in the arrest of Peyton Arthur Vaughn of Great Falls, 21 years old; he has been charged with one count of felony assault with a weapon.

The 24-year old male Taco Bell employee who was shot was taken to Benefis Health System and treated for a gunshot wound to his abdomen. At last report, he was said to be in stable condition.

Suspect arrested after an overnight shooting in Great Falls

The investigation led GFPD officers and detectives to a residence in the 1600 block of Ninth Avenue South.

The GFPD High Risk Unit - including police officers and Cascade County Sheriff’s deputies - responded to the residence

The HRU executed a search warrant on the home, utilizing standard SWAT techniques such as flash-bangs and chemical irritants, as they were clearing the home. After about two hours, the scene was cleared, and nobody was found inside the home.

Peyton Arthur Vaughn

The court documents provide the following information:

Police officers were called to Taco Bell at 1:01 a.m. for a report of a man who had been shot in the abdomen. The victim told an officer that he had been shot by Payton Vaughn. The victim was taken to Benefis Health System for surgical treatment of his gunshot wound.

Officers then interviewed Taco Bell staff and learned that the suspect and another male were in a red Ford pickup truck, and the staff said that both occupants appeared to be intoxicated. An officer then found a fired cartridge casing and a wallet and ID belonging to a man ("John Doe") whose address was listed along the 1600 block of Ninth Avenue South.

At about 3:13 a.m., officers noted fresh tire track entering Vaughn's unattached garage; they then made contact with Vaughn inside the residence. He was taken into custody without incident, and refused to provide a statement to officers.

At about 8:30 a.m., officers were contacted by John Doe who told officers that Vaughn had been driving the pickup truck at the time of the shooting, and said that after trying to order food at the Taco Bell drive-through, Vaughn and an employee got into an argument. Vaughn then pulled into the parking lot and shot an employee who had come out of the restaurant. Doe said that he and Vaughn then left the scene.

The court documents note that Vaughn does not have any previous arrests or convictions.

MTN News contacted the corporate headquarters for Taco Bell, and they released the following statement: "We are shocked and saddened to hear that this happened. We understand that the franchise owner and operator of this location is working with the local authorities in their investigation.”