Shooting suspect still at large, victim ID'd

By 
Luella N. Brien
Friday, April 9, 2021
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Fabian Dawes, 31, of Billings, is wanted in in connected Wednesday's shooting at a Crow Agency landromat. He remains at large and should be considered armed and dangerous, Crow Tribal Prosecutor David Sibley said. Dawes, a Native American male, is approximately 5'11" with a medium build and several visible tattoos. If anyone has information about this shooting or the whereabouts of the suspect, 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.

Crow Tribal Prosecutor Dave Sibley told Billings-area news outlets the suspect in Wednesday morning’s shooting has been identified as Fabian Dawes, 31, of Billings.

Dawes remains at large at this time and should be considered armed and dangerous, Sibley said.

He is a Native American male and is approximately 5'11" with a medium build and several visible tattoos.

The victim of the shooting has been identified as Joshua Couture. Sibley told TV news outlets, Couture was airlifted out of the area to Billings for his injuries.

Sibley also told reporters the shooting took place at Teepee Service 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 the area in from 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.

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