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'I don't feel safe:' Billings neighbors frightened after home hit by bullets

Johnson
Posted at 10:05 AM, Nov 02, 2023

Billings police responded to a shooting just before midnight on Tuesday on the 1500 block of Colton Boulevard just a few blocks away from where another shooting over the weekend began at the 900 block of Poly Drive.

Tuesday night's shooting resulted in no injuries but a couple homes and vehicles were shot, leaving residents in the area rattled.

"I don't feel safe in my house anymore," neighbor Avery Johnson said. "It doesn't even matter where you live anymore, it happens everywhere."

Johnson lives next door to the home that was shot at and heard multiple rounds go off.

"I was scared to death," Johnson said. "That doesn't really happen in this neighborhood. You hear about things happening like that, but you never think it would happen to you."

Bob Balko, another nearby homeowner, said he didn't hear the gunfire but was appalled when he heard about it this morning.

"I don't even know what to say, it's very nerve-racking," Balko said. "When they're shooting into a house near where I live, it's very scary. I'm retired, my wife is retired, and we've loved the area because it's so quiet and there's never been violence here."

The homeowner whose house was shot declined an on-camera interview with MTN out of fear for his family's safety, but he did grant a tour inside the home and showed the damage caused from the incident. Multiple bullet holes were seen in the walls, and one bullet broke through the bedroom window of his two-year-old daughter, narrowly missing her crib.

Bullet Hole

Residents believe that it was a drive-by shooting, targeting a home just down the street hosting a large party. A doorbell video camera captured eight seconds worth of gunfire, a brief pause, and then four more shots.

The homeowner whose house was shot said the vehicle drove by the party firing bullets inside and then sped away as people from the party fired four return bullets at the vehicle, but missed, hitting his home instead.

"I was terrified. I was ducking in my high heels running in the house," Johnson said.

The residents believe it is connected to the recent gang violence, but Lt. Matt Lennick told MTN in an email, "There is no information associating it with the homicide over the weekend, and nothing to specifically link it to gang activity."

While no one was injured in this incident, neighbors feared it could be worse the next time, comparing it to the fatal shooting of18-year-old Chandler Stalcup over the weekend.

"Somebody could've been killed," Balko said. "It just happened a couple days close to us, so to have it happen again now, is very scary."

Balko

A shocking reality, leaving many on edge, as shootings continue to happen across Billings.

"I just don't know what to do anymore," Johnson said. "I don't think anyone is safe."