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Woman Fatally Shot on Campus of Helena College

May 19, 1990

HELENA, Mont. (AP) _ A man who appeared to be drunk walked into a college cafeteria and opened fire with a revolver Friday, killing one woman and wounding another, authorities said.

The attack at Carroll College came three days after a student at Montana State University killed two people with a shotgun at the campus in Bozeman, 90 miles from here.

A man believed to be an unemployed ranch hand without any connection to Carroll College was arrested in Friday’s attack. Darrell Randall Stahl, 36, was arrested on the campus of the small Roman Catholic college half an hour after the shooting, said County Attorney Mike McGrath.

A first court appearance for Stahl was canceled because he appeared intoxicated, McGrath said. Authorities were considering murder and attempted murder charges, he said.

The assailant ″entered the east door of the Carroll Commons, walked to a group of Carroll employees who were having a coffee break - food service employees - asked them a question about where he could find somebody, and then proceeded to shoot the two individuals,″ said Russ Ritter, vice president for development at Carroll.

The dead woman, identified by hospital authorities as Sharon Hance, 52, was a college secretary, Ritter said.

The wounded woman was a food service worker for Marriott Foods, which runs the cafeteria. The woman, whose name was withheld, was in stable condition at St. Peter’s Community Hospital, said Loretta Lindell, hospital spokeswoman.

On Tuesday, a 19-year-old Montana State Universith student is accused of killing two freshmen in a dormitory with a shotgun. Authorities say the alleged attacker apparently didn’t know the victims, and have been unable to say what the motive was.

MSU student Brett Byers was held without bond on two murder charges in that case.

Asked if the Montana State attack had somehow triggered Friday’s shooting, Assistant Police Chief Michael Bloom said: ″Knowing human nature, history tells us it’s possible.″

Bloom refused to comment on whether Stahl knew the women or whether the shooting appeared to be random. He said no motive has been determined, but that police were interviewing a woman who may have been with Stahl before the shooting.

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