Surveillance video captured a customer pointing a gun at a group of people last week at the front entrance of the Montana Club when he was shot in the chest by another customer, Yellowstone County prosecutors stated in charging documents Wednesday.
One man in the group, identified only as D.E., told police that he was "staring down the barrel of a gun" and believes that the man who shot the customer saved his life, according to court documents.
Prosecutors have charged Daniel Brusard, 35 years old, with felony assault with a weapon, and a misdemeanor charge of a violation of a protection order. He has not yet appeared in court. If convicted of the felony, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Brusard was treated at a hospital after he was shot and is now in Yellowstone County jail.
The charging documents provide the first detailed window into the chaotic scene that frightened customers at the popular restaurant. And while prosecutors shed new light on the case, the charging documents left other key questions unanswered, such as the name of the shooter (identified only as a 64-year-old man with initials R.P.) or whether authorities believe he was acting in self-defense. Billings police say they are continuing to investigate.
Here is the account of the shooting, according to court documents:
Billings police arrived at the restaurant just after 6 p.m. Nov. 30 and found one man, later identified as Brusard, lying by the front door with a single gunshot wound to the chest. A woman, later identified as his fiancee, was crying and screaming by him.
One employee told police that Brusard was upset over an apparent mixup in his food order and began yelling at staff after he had a few drinks. He left the restaurant to bring his food to his vehicle, slammed into a woman and they began yelling at each other, according to the employee.
Brusard then went back outside to his vehicle to get his gun, and the employee told another employee to lock the front door. The entrance area has become crowded.
At this point, another patron, D.E., told Brusard from the front door that he would hit him if he tried to come back inside. Brusard kept coming, so D.E. said he hit him twice.
That's when Brusard pulled his gun from his waistband and raises it at D.E., who heard a shot and thought he had been hit. Brusard went down. Footage showed Brusard raise the weapon amid a struggle with multiple patrons.
Police said they found the gun that shot Brusard in the bushes. A sergeant asked for the person who fired the shot, and the customer identified as R.P. said it was him.
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