Warrant Issued in Downtown Whitefish Shooting That Killed Deer, Damaged Business

By Beacon Staff

A warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old man in connection with the Jan. 7 shooting of two deer near downtown Whitefish.

According to a press release from the Whitefish Police Department, Tarn Sandelin of rural Whitefish was expected to surrender to police on Thursday. The release said that when Sandelin was confronted with the findings of the investigation he “cooperated fully.”

Police responded to reports of gunfire early on the morning of Jan. 7. Investigators discovered that one mule deer doe had been killed and another wounded. The wounded deer had to be put down.

Additionally, several errant shots went through the walls of a pet food store and destroyed equipment within the business, the press release said.

Sandelin has been charged with criminal mischief, discharging a firearm within city limits and negligent endangerment, all misdemeanors. He also faces additional charges from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which assisted in the investigation.

Bond has been set at $2,000. If convicted, Sandelin faces up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial “commended the community for their assistance in solving these senseless and extremely reckless crimes.”

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