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Yellowstone County sees record number of homicides in 2020

January 1, 2021 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Police in Billings are investigating a recent fatal shooting as a homicide, the 19th in Yellowstone County in 2020, officials said.

The county had approximately one homicide every three weeks last year, The Billings Gazette reported, including the Dec. 27 shooting of a 39-year-old Mississippi man.

The violent deaths in Montana’s most populous county mark a record since at least 2006, the earliest year for which complete data is available. The city and county reported 11 homicides in 2015, according to data from the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and the Billings Police Department.

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No arrests in last weekend’s fatal shooting had been made as of Thursday, when Billings Police Lt. Brandon Wooley reported that the victim had died. His name has not been released by the coroner’s office.

Officers responded to a reported disturbance with shots fired just before 3 a.m., on Dec. 27, Wooley said. The victim was found unconscious in the front yard of the South Side residence and was taken to the hospital.