Two counts of attempted deliberate homicide have been filed against 18-year-old Chase Munson, one of the two men arrested following a shooting at a Missoula convenience store.
Ivory Brien, 19, has been charged with two counts of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide. The pair made their first court appearances Friday.
Justice of the Peace Marie Andersen set their bail at $1 million each.
Deputy county attorney Mac Bloom said Munson, armed with a .22-caliber revolver, went into the convenience store at the intersection of Higgins and South avenues with Brien, who had pepper spray, around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Bloom said Munson shot a customer in the back, then walked up to him when he fell and shot him again in the head. He then went around the counter and shot the employee in the shoulder, Bloom said. Munson and Brien, who had used pepper spray on the employee and the customer, then fled the store, the prosecutor said.
“They didn’t call for help. They didn’t do anything but leave the two victims,” Bloom said.
Police have spoken to both victims. The customer who was shot twice told them he'd gone to the store to speak to his friend who was working, and had his back to the door when he heard the shots.
Court records say Munson and Brien — who is a student at UM — left a campus dorm with two other friends in the early hours of Tuesday. One of the friends, Brien’s roommate, later tipped off UM police. He said the four were out doing “hood rat (stuff)” like breaking into cars. He told detectives Munson obtained the revolver another time when they were stealing from vehicles.
The two other friends had headed back to campus by the time Brien and Munson approached the convenience store, according to the court records.
Officers searched two dorm rooms at UM on Wednesday where Brien and Munson — who was previously enrolled but is not an active student — had been staying, and found a backpack containing a .22-caliber pistol and ammunition.
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A friend of Munson’s who spoke with police said he was at the dorm the night of the shooting and said when Munson returned, he was holding the revolver and said he had just shot two men.
Another of the people who was out “car hopping” with Munson and Brien told police that shortly after he returned to his dorm, the pair came in and Munson said, “We just tried to rob that convenience store. They tried to go for the alarm, so we shot them,” court records said.
When he was interviewed, Brien allegedly told police he and Munson were going to do a “beer run” and that when they approached the store Munson handed him bear spray. He said he thought Munson wanted money from the store.
Detectives interviewed Munson, who said Brien called him the day after the shooting and gave him the backpack that had the gun in it. He said he didn’t have a good memory of the night of the shooting because he had been using Xanax.
Court documents said Munson, Brien and another man went to the Days Inn hotel near the airport the day after the shooting, with Munson telling a friend he needed to get out of town for a while. Bloom said in court Friday that Munson told people he was fleeing to Mexico and they wouldn’t see him again.
Munson was arrested at the hotel, while Brien — who is from Arlee — was arrested by Flathead tribal police, court records said
Bloom requested $1 million holds for both men.
Public defense attorney Reed Mandelko asked for a $100,000 bond, saying that $1 million “may as well be a billion-dollar bond.”
As he has done in other cases, Mandelko reminded the judge that when Markus Kaarma — convicted of shooting a foreign exchange student in his garage in 2014 — made his first court appearance, his bail was set at $30,000.
In addition to the bails, Andersen said Brown and Munson cannot contact victims, witnesses or each other. They will be screened for pretrial supervision release.