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$1M bond set for Helena man charged in August shooting

Helena Police
Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 10:40:05-04

HELENA — A Lewis and Clark County justice of the peace set a $1 million bond Tuesday for a 22-year-old Helena man charged in connection with an August shooting that left two people injured.

Jory Songer made his first appearance in court Tuesday. He faces two counts of attempted deliberate homicide and two counts of felony assault with a weapon.

According to court documents, the Helena Police Department responded to the 800 block of North Cooke Street in the Stewart Homes complex around 1 a.m. on Aug. 18, after reports of multiple gunshots. They found one man shot in the thigh and another shot in the forearm. The men told investigators they and two minors had been talking outside a residence when a masked man approached them and began firing. They said they ran inside to get away, and the shooter ran off.

Documents say investigators looked at surveillance video and concluded the suspect may have gotten out of a Hyundai Sonata seen circling the complex minutes before the shooting, then gotten back in immediately after. Officers believed the vehicle matched the description of one reported stolen several days earlier.

According to documents, police eventually identified a man they suspected of using the stolen car. When they arrested him for outstanding warrants, documents say Songer was with him. Officers say Songer gave a false name, then tried to run away. When investigators determined he was under the supervision of the Office of Probation and Parole, court documents say they searched his backpack and found meth, drug paraphernalia and a mask.

Court documents say a woman they linked to the stolen vehicle admitted driving it to the Stewart Homes area around the time of the shooting and dropping Songer off. She said he had said he was visiting friends, and he later got back into the car after saying he could not find them.

Investigators said they interviewed Songer on Sept. 14, and that he said the attack was not planned, and later that he had no involvement.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that Songer made his initial appearance and had a bond amount set, and to include his age and city of residence.