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2 murder-suicides reported in Montana in just over 24 hours

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BILLINGS — Two murder-suicides have been reported in Montana in just over 24 hours, authorities said.

A 39-year-old Billings man apparently killed a 38-year-old woman and an 11-year-old boy before killing himself on Wednesday night, police said. The shots were reported at about 8:30 p.m.

The initial investigation indicates it was a double murder-suicide, Lt. Matt Lennick said in a statement. All three died at the scene.

On Tuesday night about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Gallatin Gateway near Bozeman, a woman reportedly shot her husband and then killed herself at a nearby reservoir, Gallatin County officials said.

A witness reported seeing the woman shoot her husband at about 6:45 p.m. and then leave the area. A person recreating at Hyalite Reservoir, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Bozeman, found the woman's body several hours later, the sheriff's office said.

The same gun appeared to be used in both shootings, Sheriff Dan Springer said.

Springer identified the dead in the Gallatin County shootings as Jason Jones, 53, and Kimberli Jones, 50.

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The names of the victims in the Billings shooting have not been released.

These reports come about a week after a murder-suicide at an Anaconda Town Pump.

Police said an Anaconda man walked into a casino, shot a man twice in the head, then walked out to the parking lot and turned the gun on himself. Both men were dead at the scene.

The victim was Keith Illston, 61, and the shooter was identified as Larry Blodnick, 65.

The motive for the shooting is not known.

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Sheriff Bill Sather said the shooting occurred the night of Oct. 12 at the Town Pump casino, 6940 Montana Highway 1, in front of several witnesses.

According to Chief Sather, a casino worker notified his office at 6:30 p.m. Because of Town Pump’s surveillance cameras, the entire incident was on video, and with the number of people who witnessed the shooting, there was no question as to what happened.

Montana Standard editor Matthew Kiewiet contributed to this story.

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