Kalispell Man Arrested in Lakeside Convenience Store Shooting

Luke Elliot Rutledge was charged with attempted homicide and criminal endangerment following the Nov. 24 shooting

By Maggie Dresser
A Flathead County Sheriff's Office vehicle. Beacon file photo

A 26-year-old Kalispell man accused of shooting at a man seated inside his vehicle parked outside a Lakeside convenience store and casino late Friday night has been charged with felony counts of attempted deliberate homicide and criminal endangerment.

Luke Elliot Rutledge, who a patron detained until law enforcement arrived, was booked in the Flathead County Detention Center following the incident.

According to an affidavit filed by Deputy Flathead County Attorney Stacy Boman, Flathead County sheriff’s deputies on Nov. 24 at approximately 11:30 p.m. responded to multiple reports of a man, who authorities later identified as Rutledge, shooting at another man who was sitting in his vehicle and using his cell phone in the parking lot of the Joe Blogz gas station in Lakeside.

The victim fled from his car and sought refuge in a bar across U.S. Highway 93, where he called 911 while a bystander pinned Rutledge to the ground in the parking lot.

When deputies arrived, they found Rutledge being held down in the parking lot next to the victim’s truck. Law enforcement located a gun holster attached to the suspect’s waistband, records state.

Authorities spoke to the victim who said Rutledge started shooting at him from approximately 6 feet away and he believed he was attempting to kill him, according to charging documents. Authorities spotted four separate bullet indentations on the victim’s vehicle’s driver’s side door near where the victim was sitting and another bullet hole on the driver’s side tailgate.

After the victim ran across the street, witnesses saw Rutledge inside of the victim’s vehicle, the records state. A bystander pulled Rutledge out of the vehicle and held him on the ground while another bystander removed a firearm from the small of Rutledge’s back, according to charging documents.

Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said he did not know whether the victim sustained any injuries.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Flathead County Detective Division at (406) 758-5600.

The original story was updated at 3 p.m. on Nov. 27 to include information that charges have been filed and other details.