Brian Jones Marks

Brian Jones Marks appears via video Tuesday in Gallatin County Justice Court for charges related to a shooting near West Yellowstone over the weekend.

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A Belgrade man is accused of shooting at people and stealing a cellphone near West Yellowstone over the weekend after getting into an argument with them over noise.

Brian Jones Marks, 47, faces a charge of robbery and three charges of assault with a weapon, all felonies. Marks appeared via video Tuesday in Gallatin County Justice Court before Judge Bryan Adams, who set his bail at $50,000.

Marks turned himself in on Monday after the shooting led law enforcement on a weekend-long search for him. The incident drew law enforcement agencies from Idaho, Montana Highway Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, West Yellowstone police, Hebgen Basin Fire Department, and Bozeman’s police and fire departments.

On Saturday around 4:30 p.m., West Yellowstone police responded to a report of Marks shooting at a three people multiple times in the Whiskey Bay area of Hebgen Lake. One of the victims told police Marks shot at them multiple times and stole his sister’s cellphone before leaving in a silver Toyota truck with Texas license plates.

The victims told a detective that they were sitting at the edge of a bay, playing in the water and digging their feet into sand.

Marks’ truck was backed up to the water and they thought he was inside of it.

About 20 minutes later, Marks approached the three and told them they needed to leave because they were making too much noise. Marks started cussing when one of the victims told Marks they were “from here” and that he could leave.

After the back-and-forth, Marks went to his truck, grabbed a pistol, pointed it at the victims, telling them to “keep talking,” and started firing rounds into the sand around their feet, court documents say.

Police said in charging documents the victims then ran to their cars up a hill as Marks fired off more rounds.

One of the victims tried calling 911 while she was in her car, but told police that Marks opened the door, pulled her out and grabbed her cellphone. The car was in reverse and rolled backward, hitting a car that the other two victims were in.

Detectives went to the scene of the incident and found three shell casings and one spent slug.

After hours of unsuccessful searching, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release alerting people that a man who was armed and dangerous was on the loose in the area.

On Sunday, law enforcement received a tip that helped identify Marks. A detective ran Marks’ name through a database and determined he owned the silver truck with Texas license plates.

In court on Tuesday, prosecutor Ashley Carroll said she was concerned that Marks fired multiple rounds at “three separate complete strangers.”

“There is a serious concern for the safety of the public there,” she said.

Carroll said while looking through Marks’ criminal history there was a notification that he was prohibited from possessing or buying guns.

Marks’ attorney George Isham said Marks is here for work during the summer and that he has been honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. Isham asked Judge Adams to set a lower bail.

Judge Adams said he was concerned for public safety because of the severity of the allegations Marks faced.

“The court also understands the behavior of a Marine,” Adams said, “and this is not at all in line with that.”

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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