At around 9:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Missoula Police Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex on Otis Street after a report that someone had fired a gun into an upstairs apartment. The complainants said they heard a loud bang and found a bullet hole in their floor and sofa. One complainant was seated on the sofa at the time of the shot. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The officers arrived and briefly made contact with the victims before going downstairs and attempting to make contact with the residents below,” Welsh said. “The officers knocked several times before a male opened the door slightly before slamming the door on the officers and retreating back into the apartment. The officers, fearing that exigent circumstances existed, forced entry into the home where they encountered the same male as well as an adult female.”

During the course of the investigation, the officers learned that a handgun had been fired from inside the downstairs apartment.

“They were able to locate a bullet hole in the ceiling with the corresponding floor upstairs and they were also able to see that the bullet had entered a piece of furniture and was lodged there,” Welsh said. “The bullet was eventually recovered as well as the handgun that was fully loaded to include an empty casing. The male who claimed that he fired the weapon was identified as 45-year-old Jonathan Shoemaker.”

The gun, a Ruger .44 Magnum revolver, was located under the bed of the room Shoemaker exited when officers made entry into the apartment. The handgun had its hammer cocked back into firing position when it was located. An officer observed Shoemaker to be intoxicated as he was slurring his words, and his eyes were red and glassy.

Both complainants heard “banging” from the apartment below that sounded like furniture moving approximately five minutes before the gunshot. One of the complaints was seated on the left side of the sofa when the shot occurred. The other complainant had vacated her seat on the right side of the sofa about 30 seconds before the shot was fired.

Shoemaker was charged with felony criminal endangerment and obstructing a peace officer.

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