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18-year-old arrested in Billings shooting death

July 6, 2021 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An 18-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a fatal shooting in Billings in late June, police Lt. Brandon Wooley said.

The suspect, who is from Billings, is charged with deliberate homicide in the June 25 death of Thaddeus Merritt, 22, who was from the Chicago area. He remains jailed and has not appeared in court.

Officers responding to a report of shots fired late on June 24 found Merritt lying on the ground in a downtown alleyway, having been shot in the stomach. Officers found the suspect lying under a nearby car with gunshot wounds to the legs.

The suspect told police he was walking down the alley when Merritt shot him, so he pulled his gun and returned fire, court records said.

However, surveillance video showed the suspect walking down the alley with four other people toward another group of people, including Merritt, and that the suspect shot Merritt at point blank range. Merritt then fired several rounds at the suspect, hitting him in the legs, court records said.