News & Features

Man Arrested After Fatal Shooting in Coram

Martin Chandler was arrested early Thursday and charged with deliberate homicide

Updated: Feb. 14, 3 p.m.

One man is dead and another is behind bars after a fatal shooting in Coram early Thursday morning.

According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, 19-year-old Martin Chandler shot and killed 54-year-old William Melton at a home in Coram at approximately 1:30 a.m. Melton died at the scene and Chandler was apprehended soon after law enforcement arrived.

According to Sheriff Brian Heino, Chandler fled the scene immediately after the shooting. Witnesses to the shooting gave law enforcement a description of the vehicle, which was spotted in the Columbia Falls area. The vehicle was pulled over and Chandler was taken into custody without incident.

Chandler is being held without bail on a single charge of deliberate homicide. The incident remains under investigation. Law enforcement officials said Chandler and Melton knew each other, but did not describe the nature of their relationship.

Chandler has had past run-ins with the law and was previously accused of burglary, assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Columbia Falls Police Department also responded to the shooting.

This story will be updated when additional information becomes available. 

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