On Saturday, Missoula Police Officers responded to the Inn on Broadway for a report of a disturbance. Officers were advised that a male had pulled an AR-15 type rifle and had pointed the firearm at a motel employee and a guest.

When officers arrived, they found an adult male, adult female and a juvenile standing outside a car in the parking lot of the motel. The adult male was identified as 43-year-old Jesse Pearce. Pearce stated he was having an argument with his wife when a male approached him and was filming him with his phone.

After further investigation, Pearce was taken into custody. He appeared on Monday afternoon via video from the Missoula County Jail before Justice of the Peace Alex Beal. Deputy County Attorney Carrie Garber laid out the charges against Pearce.

“This defendant thought that they were videotaping him,” Garber said. “He charged at them, yelled, said he was going to his car to get his gun, and then did so. An employee from the motel attempted to intervene and ended up in the line of gunfire had the gun been shot. The victim at the motel felt that she was going to be shot.”

Court documents indicate Pearce provided an officer with the weapon, which was a black Smith and Wesson M&P15 rifle.

Garber said they believe it is unlikely that Pearce will show up to any court appearances in the future.

“Given this, plus seven separate failures to appear, and a 2017 fail to comply with conditions of sentence, we believe that it is unlikely he will appear as ordered by the court based on his prior history,” Garber said. “It is our understanding that he is currently homeless with no clear ties to this community and therefore has nothing to hold him here in Missoula.”

Judge Beal decided to set Pearce’s bail at $50,000 and he said Pearce is not allowed to possess any weapons. Pearce was officially charged with two felony counts of assault with a weapon. His charging documents can be found here.

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