BILLINGS — Jessica Danielle Schnetter, accused of firing a gun in the direction of her neighbors and a nearby school, was arraigned Tuesday in Yellowstone County District Court.
Schnetter, 45 years old, appeared in court by video from the county jail. A judge entered pleas of not guilty on her behalf to felony charges of criminal endangerment with a weapons enhancement and criminal mischief with a pecuniary loss of more than $1,500. She was also charged with a misdemeanor count of assault.
The judge set bail at $25,000 after noting the conduct alleged involved the use of a firearm.
(JUNE 19, 2023) An argument in a neighborhood near Ponderosa Elementary School turned violent on Sunday, June 18, 2023.
Billings police arrested one woman after she allegedly fired a weapon during the dispute.
The incident, which began at around 4 p.m. according to Billings police Lt. Matt Lennick, started because the suspect, 43-year-old Jessica Schnetter, was annoyed because another woman, Roxanne Thompson, had parked her car in front of her house rather than next to the home she was visiting.
Thompson told MTN News on Monday that she and her friends were visiting someone in the neighborhood and trying to help him fix up a couple of his vehicles which were struggling to start.
"I parked right over here in front of this camper because his whole block was already covered with cars," Thompson said. "Then she shows up like a bat out of hell and started yelling at us."
Thompson's friends, James Kelly and Quincy Lantz, said that the incident escalated quickly and became physical.
"She went back over to her house and said something and then came back down, grabbed some decorative wood and just started beating her dad's car with it," Lantz told MTN News.
Thompson, Kelly, and Lantz all took videos of the dispute as it changed from aggressive yelling to Schnetter destroying the windshield of Thompson's car.
"This is something that no one should ever have to go through," Kelly said.
The video of Schnetter trying to shatter every window of the vehicle is shocking, but then the incident got even more frightening as Lantz said they heard gunshots.
"We heard gunshots in the backyard, so that's when I told my friend James to call the cops," Lantz said.
"Being shot at or being near shots fired is a very scary experience," Kelly said.
According to the group of friends, Schnetter fired off multiple shots in different directions near the area of Ponderosa school.
"That was really concerning too," Kelly said. "We saw a mom and her child in the park by the school. You can't just go firing off shots at a school."
Billings police arrested Schnetter on suspicion of two felony counts of criminal endangerment. She was listed as an inmate in the Yellowstone County jail on Monday afternoon.
It's the latest example of an alarming rise in weapons offenses over the last two years, according to the Billings police 2022 annual report.
"I never thought I'd have to go through that, but Billings is getting more dangerous by the day," Kelly said.
None of those involved in this instance were harmed, but all fear what their city has turned into.
"I think the scariest part for me was after the officers showed up with all of their guns," Lantz said. "I thought she was going to start shooting at them. I was like, 'Is this really what it comes down to?'"
"Billings is supposed to be a welcoming community and because of that one incident, I don't feel that," Kelly said.
- Great Falls gun shop 'visited' by feds
- 1 dead, 1 injured in crash near Heart Butte
- American Bar reopens in Stockett
- Body recovered from Missouri River
- Recent Obituaries