MISSOULA – A 28-year-old man was charged with attempted deliberate homicide Thursday after shots were fired at a police officer investigating suspicious activity.
Timothy J. Hoppe was also charged in Justice Court with three counts of criminal trespass to vehicles and one count of theft for allegedly taking a .22-caliber rifle from a pickup truck.
Hoppe’s bail was set at $250,000. He requested a public defender.
Court records said Hoppe used the stolen rifle to fire a shot that patrol officer Robert Campbell said he heard whip through the branches and leaves of a tree directly over his head.
Campbell was responding Wednesday night to a report of a prowler when he heard a gunshot. He had talked to a resident and was walking back to his car. Campbell dropped to the ground and called for assistance.
Campbell and other witnesses reported hearing several more shots, court records said.
A resident heard what she thought were firecrackers and came out of her house with a baseball bat, where she encountered a man running through her yard carrying a rifle. She told him to drop the rifle, which he did, but then he continued toward her.
She hit him with the bat, prosecutors said.
The man was taken into custody at gunpoint soon after.
Detectives said Hoppe acknowledged firing the rifle, but denied that he had tried to shoot anyone.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.