Crime

Stranded Man Accused Of Killing Couple Who Tried To Help Him

| by Maura Turcotte

A stranded man in Pryor, Montana, reportedly shot a couple and their daughter after they tried to help him. While the daughter was able to escape with injuries, her mother and father died, reports the Billings Gazette.

Around 10:30 a.m. on July 29, Tana Shane reportedly spotted a man who appeared to be stranded on the road in Pryor. Wanting to help, she drove home to get her husband, Jason Shane, and her daughter, Jorah Shane. When they returned to the man, the shooting reportedly began.

“When they came back to help him, that’s when it all took place,” Bryce Hugs, the family spokesman and nephew of Tana Shane, explained to the Billings Gazette. “(He) killed both of them and then shot the daughter. It grazed her in the head and when she took off (he) shot her in the back.”

Jorah reportedly ran to a nearby school and found a ride back to her house. She then returned to the scene of the incident with several other family members. She was later taken to a hospital in Billings.

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The Shanes leave behind two sons and five daughters, the Montana newspaper reports.

Big Horn County Undersheriff Bart Elliott spoke with Jorah, but was unable to find out much.

"The victim that was transported to the emergency room really doesn't know what's going on," the undersheriff stated.

While the man apparently fled the scene in the Shanes’ silver Pontiac, the car and the man were soon found outside of Meeteetse, Wyoming, where he was immediately arrested. Officials identified him as Jesus Deniz Mendoza,18, from Worland, Wyoming.

Although they currently have no leads on Mendoza’s motives, County Attorney Jay Harris explained to KTVQ2 that they “have very strong leads that he was not (there) by happenstance."

While Mendoza is currently being held in Park County, Wyoming, the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Crow Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are conducting the investigation of the incident, reports KTVQ2.

Sources: Billings Gazette (2), KTVQ2 / Photo credit: Park County Wyoming Sheriff's Office via KTVQ2