PRYOR, Mont. — Trying to be good Samaritans cost two members of a Montana family their lives and left their daughter wounded.
The triple shooting happened in the town of Pryor, Mont., about 30 miles south of Billings. The suspect, 18-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza, is expected in federal court Friday.
The family was shot when they returned to help Mendoza, whose car was seen stopped along the side of a road on the Crow Indian Reservation on Wednesday morning, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
The daughter said her mother “came to her house and told her that there was a guy that needed assistance.”
The mother, father and daughter then returned to where Mendoza’s car was parked, the court document says. Mendoza pulled a gun on them and ordered them out of their car. He demanded money, but the family said it didn’t have any, according to the FBI.
The daughter said Mendoza told them to start walking away from the car. She heard a gunshot and turned back to see her father lying on the road. The woman heard another gunshot and heard her mother scream. She was running and didn’t look back, the document says.
As the daughter fled, she felt blood running down her face from a bullet wound. She then heard another gunshot and felt a bullet hit her in the back. The woman ran for help as Mendoza drove off in her car. She was taken to a Billings hospital for treatment.
Found in Wyoming
A Park County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested Mendoza several hours later and more than 100 miles away in Meeteetse, Wyo.
Mendoza later told FBI agents he “shot the victims because he was getting tired of waiting around and because the daughter laughed at him,” the criminal complaint says.
The FBI documents only referred to the family by their initials, but the Big Horn County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Tana and Jason Shane Jr., according to KULR.