The Missoula Police Department on Tuesday concluded its investigation into the fatal Labor Day shooting at the Fox Club Cabaret and passed its report on to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office for review.

MPD spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh said it’s now up to prosecutors to determine if any charges are warranted based upon the findings of the report.

“We continue to work closely with the County Attorney’s Office on the case,” Welsh said. “We are prepared to carry out additional tasks that are deemed necessary, in order to assist them in that process.”

Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks, who is handling the case, said his office received the report Tuesday and has begun its initial review. The report includes interviews, evidence and other findings made over MPD’s three-week investigation.

Marks couldn’t offer any timeline for making a determination, nor could he release the name of the shooter.

“We’ll evaluate if we have the evidence to support filing a criminal charge,” Marks said. “We’re working to get through all the reports, evidence and interviews in this case and make a determination as soon as possible.”

The investigation into the shooting at the Fox Club was weeks in the making. The incident occurred at roughly 1 a.m. Sept. 1, when a brief altercation took place in the parking lot outside the strip club, according to witnesses.

The shooter, described only as a 27-year local man, pulled a revolver from his truck and shot 23-year-old Christopher Michael Hymel, a Louisiana resident in town visiting his girlfriend’s family, once in the chest. Hymel was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later.

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Witnesses said Hymel had stepped to the window of the man’s truck to discuss the vulgar comments the man had made toward two of Hymel’s female companions.

A fight ensued through the passenger window of the man’s truck. When Hymel stepped back to remove an article of clothing, witnesses told the Missoulian, the man allegedly stepped from his truck, shut his door, raised his revolver and shot Hymel in the chest.

Police said Hymel was unarmed. Calls to the alleged shooter have not been returned.

Just hours after Hymel died, his family launched a fundraiser to bring his body home and cover the costs of his burial. Two nightclubs in New Orleans also held fundraisers to contribute to the family’s expenses.

More than $6,000 was raised.

Hymel’s family could not be immediately reached Tuesday for comment. His mother, Crystal Perez, told the Missoulian earlier this month that she’s waiting for the outcome of the investigation for more answers.

She also said the family was considering a lawsuit against the shooter.

“It’s not OK – my son’s life was taken away,” said Perez. “I don’t want money. I don’t want property. I want this (man) to know he took my son’s life, and I want him to pay for that.”

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Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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