NewsCrime and Courts


Colstrip teen charged in accidental shooting of friend with AR-15 rifle

Posted at 3:06 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 18:13:25-05

BILLINGS – A 14-year-old Colstrip boy is charged with criminal endangerment after allegedly firing a rifle and injuring another teen.

Colstrip Police Chief Cory Hert said the incident happened Dec. 14 at around 10:20 p.m.

Hert said four teens, ages 14 to 17, were handling an AR-15 at a home in Colstrip while the adults living there were out of town.

The 14-year-old teen accidentally fired the gun. Hert said the teen wasn’t aware it was loaded.

Another teen was struck by in the shoulder and taken to a local hospital and then transferred to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

Hert tells Q2 News it is typical for people in Montana to buy weapons such as an AR-15.

“I know a lot of people that have these gun,” said Hert.

However, he cautions parents to secure guns stored in their homes.

“I think the more safety training they provide their teens, that are going to be handling weapons for hunting and things, the better. In this case, the individual had no training,” he said.

Hert said the victim has since been released.

Prosecutors are still determining whether to formally charge the teen or follow an informal, probationary process, either of which would be handled in Youth Court.

Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN New