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Attempted murder charges filed against a man for a shooting at a Hardin truck stop

Gary Jackson Hugs Jr has been charged with attempted murder.
Gary Hugs Jr. and Donnalynn Russell
Posted at 11:46 AM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 13:48:10-05

BILLINGS — Gary Jackson Hugs Jr., accused of shooting two people at a truck stop in Hardin, has been charged with attempted murder.

Hugs, 29 year old, is being held in the Yellowstone County Detention Center on two counts of attempted deliberate homicide. Each charge caries a $250,000 bond.

According to charging documents filed in Big Horn County District Court, the shooting happened at about midnight on October 25 at the Love's truck stop in Hardin. Two men, identified in court records by the initials T.O.C and R.L.H., were seriously wounded in the shooting.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Warden Jacob Barzon saw the shooting and attempted to intervene, firing several shots during the incident, court records state. The gunman, later identified by Barzon as Hugs, left the truck stop in a vehicle and eluded law enforcement officers during a subsequent chase.

Big Horn County Sheriff's Office investigators later recovered nine .45-caliber shell casings from the scene of the shooting. Authorities said T.O.C. had been shot in the face and R.L.H had been shot three times in the front of his body. Both men were treated at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

During the investigation, Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office investigators notified investigators in Big Horn County that a shooting in Lockwood had happened about 40 minutes prior to the shooting in Hardin and the suspect in the Lockwood shooting was Hugs, who was driving a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee.

Hugs and a woman, Donnalynn Russell, 30, were later arrested on the morning of October 25 at a residence in Billings, court records state. A .45-caliber Glock handgun and an empty box of .45-caliber cartridges were recovered from the residence. The Jeep had several bullet holes.

Hugs also has pending felony charges in Yellowstone County District Court for robbery and drug possession. He is scheduled to be arraigned next week in Big Horn County on the attempted murder charges.

(OCTOBER 25, 2019) Two men are in a hospital, and a man and a woman are in custody after a shooting early Friday at the Love's Truck Stop in Hardin.

Sheriff Lawrence Big Hair said in a press release that a Montana FWP game warden was at the truck stop around midnight off Interstate 90 and tried to disarm one of the suspects holding a hand gun.

The warden exchanged gunfire with the suspects but was not injured, according to Big Hair.

The shooting involved people from the area, and Big Hair believes it's related to recent criminal activity.

Big Horn County detectives are gathering evidences for criminal charges, and Yellowstone County deputies are assisting.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the suspects, nor information about the nature and severity of the injuries sustained by the victims.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Big Horn County detectives at 406-665-9780 or local law enforcement.

We will update you when we get more information.