Whitefish Man Denies Firing Gun in Downtown

Sean Howard Niles pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon

By Justin Franz

Prosecutors say a 24-year-old Whitefish man fired a gun in downtown Whitefish last month before aiming at two men.

Sean Howard Niles pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony assault with a weapon on Dec. 15 in Flathead County District Court. Niles has been released on bond and is expected to stand trial in March 2017.

According to court documents, officers with the Whitefish Police Department were dispatched to the corner of Central Avenue and First Street at 1:10 a.m. on Nov. 28 after receiving a report of a disturbance with a gun. Upon arrival, officers talked to two men who said Niles had fired a gun and then pointed it in their direction, threatening to “kill them.” No one was injured in the alleged incident.

Niles allegedly fled the scene before the cops arrived. Officers found a .40 caliber shell casing on Central Avenue near where the shooting allegedly occurred.

Shortly after responding to the report, an officer apprehended Niles near the Baker Avenue Bridge. Officers located a .40 caliber Glock handgun in his backpack. During questioning, Niles allegedly admitted to firing the gun in an attempt to “scare off” some individuals.

If convicted, Niles could face up to 40 years in prison.

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