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Attempted murder charges filed against man for Hardin truck stop shooting

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 16:36:03-05

A man accused of shooting two people at a truck stop in Hardin has been charged with attempted murder.

Gary Jackson Hugs Jr., 29, is being held in the Yellowstone County jail on two counts of attempted deliberate homicide. Each charge caries a $250,000 bond.

According to charging documents filed in Big Horn County District Court, the shooting happened at about midnight on Oct. 25 at the Love's truck stop in Hardin. Two men, identified in court records by the initials T.O.C and R.L.H., were seriously wounded in the shooting.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Jacob Barzon witnessed the shooting and attempted to intervene, firing several shots during the incident, court records state. The gunman, later identified by Barzon as Hugs, fled the truck stop in a vehicle and eluded law enforcement during a subsequent chase.

Big Horn County Sheriff's Office investigators later recovered nine .45-caliber shell casings from the scene of the shooting. Authorities said T.O.C. had been shot in the face and R.L.H had been shot three times in the front of his body. Both men were treated at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

During the investigation, Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office investigators notified investigators in Big Horn County that a shooting in Lockwood had happened about 40 minutes prior to the shooting in Hardin and the suspect in the Lockwood shooting was Hugs, who was driving a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee.

Hugs and woman, Donnalynn Russell, 30, were later arrested on the morning of Oct. 25 at a residence in Billings, court records state. A .45-caliber Glock handgun and an empty box of .45-caliber cartridges were recovered from the residence. The Jeep had several bullet holes.

Hugs has pending felony charges in Yellowstone County District Court for robbery and drug possession. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Big Horn County on the attempted murder charges.

RELATED: 2 injured, 2 arrested following Hardin shooting