Multiple warrants issued for shooting suspect

Luella N. Brien
Thursday, April 15, 2021

A fugitive from justice warrant and new criminal charges have been issued by the Crow Tribal Court for a Billings man who is wanted in connection with a shooting last Wednesday at a Crow Agency laundromat.

In addition to facing fugitive from justice charges, the suspected shooter, Fabian Dawes, 31, is also facing attempted deliberate homicide, possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and obstructing a peace officer charges in Crow Tribal Court.

Fabian Dawes
Fabian Dawes
He remains at large and should be considered armed and dangerous, Crow Tribal Prosecutor David Sibley said.

Dawes also faces new charges in Big Horn County District Court. A petition to revoke his supervised release was filed Wednesday afternoon citing two violations, absconding and violating law and conduct.

According to the petition, on five separate occasions in March Dawes failed to report to his supervising officer. His new charges in Crow Tribal Court violate the law and conduct requirements of his release conditions.

Dawes is also wanted on a 2016 tribal warrant for failure to appear.

Dawes, a Native American, is approximately 5’11” with a medium build and several visible tattoos.

Last week, Sibley identified Dawes as the suspected shooter and Joshua Couture as the victim. Couture was shot in the leg and was airlifted out of the area to Billings.

He has since been released from the hospital.

Sibley also told reporters the shooting took place at Teepee Service, a local convenience store in Crow Agency, but witnesses on the scene and employees at Teepee Service confirmed the shooting took place at the laundromat across the street at 6959 Makawasha Ave.

According to witnesses, a verbal altercation took place between the two men at the laundromat before Dawes reportedly opened fire on Couture. Dawes then fled the scene on foot and was reportedly last seen in the Dunmore area shortly after the incident, according to witness reports.

Crow Agency Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services officers were seen collecting evidence and taping off the area in front of the laundromat Wednesday afternoon. The agency has not released any information publicly.

Crow BIA OJS, Montana Highway Patrol and Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office are part of the ongoing search efforts.

“For the present time, and at least until more effective efforts are made by law enforcement, any county citizen brandishing a firearm in apparent defense of their property shall enjoy deference as a matter of law due to the constant scourge that drug addicted punks present to our community,” Big Horn County Attorney Gerald “Jay” Harris said in a public statement issued Wednesday night.

Harris said the suspect has been convicted multiple times on drug possession and theft charges is under the supervision of the State of Montana Department of Corrections.

Big Horn County citizens, as always, are advised to remain alert and to report all suspicious activities to the Sheriff’s Office or federal authorities, he added.

If anyone has information about this shooting or the whereabouts of the suspect, please contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services in Crow Agency at (406) 638-2631 or the Big Horn County Sheriff at 665-9780. In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.