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The Missoula County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search for a suspect

Missoula police investigate the scene of a June 24 shooting near Sentinel High School that sent two to the hospital. A K-9 unit from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office was brought to the incident to assist in the search for a suspect. 

Missoula police on Wednesday arrested the 17-year-old boy charged with a June shooting on the campus of Sentinel High School that sent two other boys to the hospital.

Sgt. Travis Welsh said that Dylan Conat was taken into custody shortly before 2 p.m. after police learned he was at an apartment building on the 2300 block of 55th Street. The building was put under surveillance and Conat was arrested when he left.

A warrant for Conat's arrest has been active since a few days after the shooting, when he was charged with a felony for assault with a weapon in connection with the June 24 incident. Conat is accused of shooting the two boys, ages 16 and 17, in a Sentinel High parking lot.

Both victims were hospitalized but later released, although both were arrested on their own outstanding warrants from other cases. Police have said neither of the victims — identified only as being from western Montana — nor Conat was a student at Sentinel.

When Conat was first identified in late June, police said they believed he could still be around the Missoula area.

Court records said one of the boys was shot in the left side of the face, the other in the left side of his chest. The day after the shooting, detectives found a handgun in a bush nearby.

One of the shooting victims told investigators that Conat "tried robbing us." Both boys said the shooting happened after a conversation with Conat about drugs, with one saying Conat wanted to sell them and the other saying he was asking where to buy some, according to court records.

The boys allegedly attacked Conat when he started to take a gun from his waistband, with Conat eventually firing four times, hitting each of the boys once, according to court filings.

The gun had been reported stolen from a vehicle in Lolo the week before the shooting.

At the time of the June incident, Conat had another open juvenile criminal case involving a December incident in which he allegedly showed another person a gun he claimed was stolen, then pepper-sprayed the other person when that person threatened to report him to police.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.