Court documents show Hugs, Russell suspected of Hardin, Lockwood shootings

Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Gary Hugs Jr.

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Donnalyn Russell


Two suspects, identified as Gary Jackson Hugs Jr. and Donnalyn Russell face felony charges in both Yellowstone and Big Horn County for their roles in a shooting that injured two men.

According to court documents, a Montana State Fish and Game official, identified as Warden Jacob Barzen witnessed an argument between two males and the suspects and attempted to intervene in the quarrel when he witnessed Hugs reach into the rear, passenger-side of the vehicle and retrieve a semi-automatic handgun.

Barzen then witnessed Hugs fire several rounds at the two victims who began to back away from the vehicle the suspects were riding in.

Upon witnessing the shooting by Hugs with the semi-automatic weapon, Brazen noted one victim shot in the face and the other in the upper-torso.

Barzen exited his patrol vehicle and identified himself as “police” where he then instructed Hugs to drop the weapon.

Upon failure to comply with orders, Barzen fired several rounds at Hugs in an unsuccessful attempt to disarm him.

In the exchange of gunfire, Hugs re-entered the vehicle he was previously in, and sped off onto the highway to enter the Crow Indian Reservation.

Barzen immediately radioed to nearby law enforcement about the incident and the direction of travel in which the two suspects were headed.

The vehicle that the two suspects were occupying successfully eluded both Bureau of Indian Affairs and Montana Highway Patrol officers within the interiors of the Crow Indian Reservation.

The victims were then transported to Billings via Emergency Medical Services and Big Horn County detectives arrived to the scene of the crime where they had recovered 9 bullet shell casings.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office had also advised BHCSO that there was another shooting in the Lockwood area only 40 minutes prior and both Hugs and Russell were suspected in that shooting.

The two suspects were seized and arrested the following morning on Oct. 25 at a residence in Billings, and upon the grant of a search warrant recovered the weapon and vehicle, a dark-coloured Jeep Cherokee with several bullet holes in it.

Upon reviewal of several different security footage cameras and a dash-board camera from a trucker who was parked at the truckstop, showed evidence that the two victims appeared unarmed and did not appear to be acting aggressively.

As more details emerge, the investigation continues and will be updated.

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