BILLINGS - A 5-year-old boy is in the hospital after being shot in the Heights on Thursday evening. Police say he was shot by an 8-year-old boy.

Billings police Sgt. Matt Brewer said the boys had been playing together earlier in the day and had permission from their parents to go to an undeveloped area northwest of High Sierra dog park.

Brewer said the wounded boy was found by two girls, ages 12 and 13, who were riding dirt bikes. On their first ride through the area, the girls saw two bikes lying in the dirt. On their second ride, they found the injured boy.

One girl said when she initially saw the bikes she thought that people may have just ditched them on the trail to wander around. When the girls approached the bikes the second time, they saw the boy lying in the dirt path, which was hidden by hills, covered in blood.

The girls described the boy as coming in and out of consciousness when they found him. The 12-year-old girl ran for her dad, who was in the area, while the 13-year-old stayed with the boy.

A few minutes later, John Crawford, 42, who was running his dog in the area, came across the boy and 13-year-old girl and called the police at 6:15 p.m.

"I just saw a boy who was covered in blood and moaning, and a girl who looked up at me bawling,” Crawford said. “I didn’t know what to think. I just tried to keep the boy calm.”

Brewer said the boy suffered a gunshot wound in the lower abdomen and it appeared that the boy had been shot at least 15 minutes before the girls found him. He was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and underwent surgery. Police said he was in stable condition in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit.

At about 8 p.m., authorities were able to locate the suspect, an 8-year-old boy, at his home. He was transported to the Police Department with a parent to be interviewed.

A small-caliber gun and ammunition was found at the scene, Brewer said. He doesn’t believe anyone would have heard the gunshot because that type of gun doesn’t make a loud shot.

It is unclear where the boys got the gun, Brewer said.

The shooting remains under investigation.

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(11) comments


Teach life skills in school, guns are a great thing, guns in the hands of criminals or stupid people are obviously dangerous. When you teach kids about "things" they learn to respect them and how to handle them, they learn the do's and don'ts. My kids have been around guns all their life and they understand them and have a mutual respect for them, they handle them extremely well. I keep tabs on my kids all the time, I like to know they are safe, where they are and when they will be back home, we all check in with each other.


Good job dirtbikers!! Did the 8 year old leave the injured 5 year old?It doesn't read as though he went for help!


Are there any gun regulations that the National Rifle Association can't block by buying all of Congress? (oh God, please don't respond about only outlaws having doesn't excuse the gun lobby/industry from pedaling death as if it were sanctioned by the 2nd Amendment). Time we did something about guns folks.


Ya its time to do something = proper gun safety/handling and common sense!! Guns don't kill people -- people kill people. Should we outlaw cars too? How about alcohol?


BWO, if the NRA is responsible for this incident, then surely the Sierra Club is responsible for every bear attack. If only we outlawed bears, there would be no bear attacks (unlike you, I won't list any arguments that I don't want to hear you make just because I can't refute them). Thank You, drive through!


So does that mean McDonalds is responsible for every heart attack, I wonder if we can pre sue for damages that will eventually be caused.


Good thing there aren't more people like BWO, whose response to tragedies like this is to ban something. Numerous studies show that guns are used several million times each year in self-defense and to thwart crime.

This 8-year-old need to be investigated - there's something wrong with him, if the information in the story is correct. And isn't it a bit strange that an 8-year-old is playing with a 5-year-old? The age difference is huge.


Oh yes, guns are so evil and so are those who use them. I guess by your logic every police officer and solider will wake up in he!! after having given their lives for their country. Lucky for me I live near the hospital, you make me sick!


Are there any parents ever around or involved with these kids?


Parents should keep a better eye on the kids but were your parents with you when you were out riding bikes as a kid? Mine hardly ever were and guns were readily available. I remember two deaths and several children wounded in the area I grew up in as a kid due to unsecured guns.


I had very little supervision, but there were no guns left where children could get to them. Having guns in a home with children is an accident waiting to happen. There is no danger equal to the danger you put your children in when you bring a gun home.
Go to this website to find out how often this sort of thing happens.

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