HAMILTON – A western Montana man has been charged with three counts of attempted deliberate homicide for firing shots from a semi-automatic rifle at police officers responding to a reported domestic disturbance in Hamilton.
Tyler Kain Butler, 23, was also charged Monday with criminal endangerment, assault with a weapon and partner or family member assault. He did not enter a plea and Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray set his bail at $250,000, the Ravalli Republic reports.
Butler remained jailed Tuesday. Court officials had no record of an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Police received a report that a man was threatening to kill two women in an apartment Saturday night. Responding officers heard several shots, were directed to Butler’s apartment and knocked on the door, court records said.
Butler responded by firing another 15 rounds through the door. As one officer called for assistance another 20 to 30 more shots were fired through the door, prosecutors said.
Two men arrived at the apartment and one of them was on the phone with Butler. An officer talked with Butler on the phone as he continued to fire shots through the door. Butler threatened to kill any law enforcement officer that came to the door, but eventually surrendered, court records said.
An AR-15 with a bipod was found in the apartment facing the front door. The firearm was still smoking and the smoke detector in the apartment was going off because of the gun smoke, court records said.
Twenty-nine rounds went through the door of another apartment across from Butler’s, causing the resident to take cover in her bathroom, prosecutors said. She was unhurt.
Butler told investigators that he argued with his girlfriend and her mother Saturday night and after they left he noticed an AK-47 rifle was missing. He said he got angry and took his AR-15 out of the gun safe, set it up and began firing through his bedroom door.
A detective found 67 spent .223 caliber casings near the rifle, charging documents said.
During a recorded jail phone call on Jan. 5, Butler told his mother and sister that he blacked out and didn’t remember what happened.
Ï’m just glad I didn’t hurt anybody,” he said, according to charging documents.
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