An Ennis man accused of fatally shooting a Helena woman in Ennis last Friday made his initial appearance in Gallatin County Justice Court on Tuesday.
Rick Park, 53, is charged with deliberate homicide and assault with a weapon in the death of 36-year-old Nicole Watson.
Ennis Police responded to a reported gunshot within Ennis Town Limits around 2:01 p.m. on Friday. Charging documents say Watson was laying on the ground in a pool of blood outside Park’s residence when officers arrived on scene.
Emergency responders attempted life-saving measures on Watson at the scene before she was transported to Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis, where she reportedly died from gunshot injuries.
According to court documents, Watson and her husband arrived at Park’s residence for a child custody exchange involving a five-year-old boy. Her husband told police in a witness interview that about a minute after Watson knocked on the door, Park came out with a pistol pointed directly at her.
Watson’s husband said Park then shot Watson in the face. She fell to the ground and was attempting to get back up when Park allegedly shot her again in the head.
Court documents say Park then pointed the pistol at Watson’s husband and said he had better call 911. The husband fled the scene on foot, called 911, and ran to the residence of a nearby off-duty Madison County sheriff’s deputy to summon help.
Law enforcement arriving at the scene said Park was standing outside next to Watson and admitted to police that he shot her.
Police reportedly escorted Park inside to retrieve his gun, a Springfield XD .45 caliber pistol. Two fired .45 caliber cartridge casings were found near Watson’s body.
Park was taken into custody by Ennis Police and a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer and was transported to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Park was transported back to Madison County after his court appearance in Gallatin County on Tuesday. He was denied bail and remains in custody.
MTN's Gaby Krevat contributed to this report.