Man Fires Several Shots at Occupied Apartments in Missoula
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Last week, the Missoula Police Department reported that shots were fired and that a 20-year-old suspect was in custody. We now have more information about what allegedly occurred.
On September 21, 2023, at approximately 1:34 a.m., officers were dispatched to eight 911 reports of gunshots in the 700 block of E. Travois Street. One complainant said he had video surveillance footage of part of the incident and was able to identify the suspect vehicle. He reported the shooter had exited the vehicle and shot several rounds before getting back in the vehicle and driving away.
An officer was in the area and heard a gunshot. The officer drove closer and observed the suspect vehicle on Surrey Street. The suspect vehicle had turned off all its lights and appeared to be attempting to evade the officer. The officer initiated a traffic stop and there were five total passengers in the vehicle, one of whom was an infant.
The Officer Sees a Handgun in the Vehicle
The four adults were identified including 20-year-old Josiah Hauth. More officers responded to the scene and spoke with the passengers. An officer observed a black polymer-framed handgun through the vehicle’s window in plain view lying in the rear driver’s side floorboard next to a box of Twisted Tea alcohol. The officer noticed that the end of the muzzle of the firearm had fresh soot on it, indicating it had been recently fired.
Hauth had been removed from the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and the other passengers were removed for safety reasons. Each of the four adult passengers was interviewed and provided different stories as to what had occurred. According to court documents, Hauth initially admitted a firearm had been discharged near the vehicle, but then changed his story and stated that he or someone else had shot a firearm earlier that day.
The Officer Reviews the Surveillance Footage
Meanwhile, an officer met with the complainant who had the surveillance footage. The officer reviewed the footage and observed a male driving the vehicle and stopping near the intersection of Russell and Palmer Streets before exiting the vehicle and running to the middle of Russell Street. The male suspect then opened fire in the direction of several vehicles and a large apartment complex called Cedar Villas.
The officer noted there were numerous citizens who inhabited that apartment complex and who were in very close proximity to the discharge of the firearm. The officer noticed the video clearly showed the firearm being discharged in the direction of those residences. The video then revealed the male suspect re-entered the driver’s seat and drove away.
The complainant then showed the officer an additional video in which he could hear several loud noises or gunshots that appeared to come from the area west of E. Travois Street. After reviewing the footage, the officer discovered the male in the video was dressed identically to Hauth and positively identified him at the scene.
Suspect Still Denies Firing Any Shots
An officer was able to locate a spent 9mm shell casing in the middle of Russell Street. Hauth denied discharging any weapons and refused to submit to a gunshot residue test. The registered vehicle owner also refused to allow officers to search the contents of the vehicle to secure the firearm. Hauth’s hands were bagged and tested for gunshot residue after officers procured a search warrant. The results of such testing have been submitted to the Montana State Crime Lab.
A detective applied for and was granted a search warrant for the vehicle. The subsequent search revealed a 9mm Taurus pistol which was still loaded with a bullet in the chamber and six additional bullets in the magazine.
Hauth was transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility. He is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment. On September 22, 2023, Hauth made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $50,000.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.