Flathead Valley Man Arrested for Firing Bullet into Ex-girlfriend’s Bedroom

Matthew C. Burns, 22, is charged with felony assault with a weapon and remains jailed on $100,000 bail

By Tristan Scott
A Columbia Falls Police Officer. Beacon file photo

A 22-year-old Flathead Valley man is in jail after allegedly firing a bullet through the bedroom window of his ex-girlfriend’s Columbia Falls home while she was inside of it on Oct. 25.

Matthew Clark Burns was arrested the evening of the alleged shooting after the homeowner called police in Columbia Falls to report that “someone had fired a bullet through his residence,” according to court records filed in Flathead County District Court. Upon arrival, police spoke with the homeowner as well as a woman who showed officers a bullet hole in her bedroom window and a bullet hole in a mirror on an opposite wall.

“Officers followed the bullet’s trajectory and … located the bullet inside an adjoining closet,” records state.

The woman explained that she was inside her bedroom at the time of the shooting and has an order of protection against her ex-boyfriend, who she identified as Burns, and whose vehicle the homeowner said he thought he’d seen driving slowly through the neighborhood earlier in the evening. While attempting to locate the bullet casing, police officers observed a vehicle driving slowly in the vicinity and “knew from prior experience” that it belonged to Burns.

The officers detained Burns for questioning and observed a .30-caliber AR-10 style rifle in his vehicle, as well as “numerous spent shell casings,” records state.

Burns was also “extremely intoxicated,” records state, and provided a breath sample registering a blood alcohol concentration of 0.226%, or nearly three times above the legal driving limit.

Burns is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on the charges on Nov. 16 at 9 a.m. before Flathead District Court Judge Amy Eddy, who has set bail at $100,000. If Burns posts bail, he must pay for GPS monitoring and may not possess firearms.

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