A 25-year-old Bozeman man was jailed early Friday morning after a shooting put three people in the hospital.
Cody Christopher Little was charged Friday afternoon in Gallatin County Justice Court with three felonies: two counts of attempted deliberate homicide and one count of assault with a weapon.
Police Chief Ron Price said Little is suspected of wounding three Bozeman men, all in their mid- to late-20s.
Two were in serious condition. One was shot in the abdomen and was barely breathing when police arrived, according to court records. The other two had leg injuries, one severe enough that he could lose his leg.
All were taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, and one has been flown to a larger metropolitan hospital. The victims' names were not released.
Little appeared in court Friday with a black eye and an apparent busted lip. Among the 20 people in court, Little's father and sister were present along with families of the victims.
County attorney Marty Lambert asked Judge Rick West for $1.25 million bail. Lambert asked that Little be ordered to stay away from all witnesses but couldn't yet name all the witnesses because the investigation was still ongoing.
“This appeared to be senseless and unjustified,” Lambert said. “This was not a case of self-defense – he was clearly the aggressor.”
Lambert said the charges could change between now and the Oct. 11 initial appearance in Gallatin County District Court, particularly if one of the victims dies.
Public defender Diana Copeland said Little should receive reasonable bail and should still be presumed innocent. She asked for $200,000 bail, saying it was still a significant amount that Little probably couldn’t pay.
“It’s been less than 12 hours since the incident and I would say very little is known at this point,” Copeland said. “There were many intoxicated people and many altercations.”
West set Little’s bail at $1.25 million.
Around 4 a.m., multiple 911 calls were made to emergency dispatch, Price said. Some reported the sound of gunshots while others reported the incident near the corner of Monroe Street and North Ferguson Avenue.
Police were on the scene in minutes. Sheriff’s deputies and Montana State University police were called to assist. Price said no MSU students were involved.
Police arrived to find witnesses restraining Little, Price said. Officers immediately assisted two victims who were lying bleeding in the alley west of Ferguson Avenue.
Later, the third victim walked up and identified himself to police, Price said. His wounds were not as significant and he had temporarily left the scene, Price said.
A dozen people were still at a late-night party in a nearby apartment when the incident happened, so several people witnessed the event, Price said.
Witnesses told police that the suspect and victims had been arguing at the party.
Witnesses said Little, who lives nearby, left the party and returned carrying a 20-guage shotgun. He approached a group of people in the driveway and fired three times.
Price said Little tried to fire a fourth time but was out of ammunition. As Little tried to run from the scene, a witness pursued and stopped him before he reached his house.
“Not only am I proud of the citizen who had the courage to detain this person, but I’m also very proud of the officers and the lifesaving measures that they took that I believe made a significant difference in the outcome of this,” Price said.
Little has two prior convictions for misdemeanor driving under the influence, one in 2011 and one in 2013.
Price said alcohol was involved Friday morning but he didn’t know to what extent.
As the sun rose Friday morning, blood still stained the asphalt.
Investigators placed numbered position markers where various personal items still sat in the driveway. The items included spent shotgun shells, an iPhone, some papers, a black backpack, a purple cloth bag, a ball cap and a pair of blue jeans.
An investigator measured the distance from the sidewalk to each item before collecting and bagging the items.
Neighbors — including Shana, Alexandra and Kristian, who asked that their last names not be printed due to a legal matter — watched from house windows above.
Shana said the three moved into the apartment a little more than one month ago and chose the neighborhood because it appeared safe and quiet.
“And then people get shot right behind our house,” Shana said.
None of the three heard the shots.
Alexandra said she’s from Houston and is accustomed to hearing gunshots.
Shana said she woke up to go to work 20 minutes after the shots occurred. She walked out to the driveway where she was met by a police officer.
“He asked, ‘Did you call this in?’ and I said, ‘Call what in?’” Shana said. “Then I saw all the stuff in the driveway. The blood – that’s the most disturbing.”
Officers asked the roommates to remain inside the house. The crime scene was in their driveway so they couldn’t back their cars out.
Shana said she went back in, turned off the lights and watched the scene playing out below.
“It was like watching live TV happening in our own backyard,” Shana said. “I posted it to Facebook and all kinds of people asked if we were OK.”
Alexandra said she called her boss to explain the situation and he didn’t believe her at first.
This is the second brush with a Bozeman shooting for Alexandra. She said she was the property manager of a condominium on Warbler Way where a murder-suicide occurred in November.
“It really feels like Boze-Angeles right now,” Alexandra said.