A Butte man has been charged with 14 felonies for allegedly going into the police station with a handgun last December, fleeing to another building, firing at least four rounds and then jumping from a second-floor window.
Ann Shea, the chief prosecutor in the case, said the charges were filed against 29-year-old Travis Hunter on Thursday and he was arrested on them Friday.
He faces 10 counts of assault with a weapon, three counts of criminal endangerment and one count of kidnapping — all felonies. The latter charge is for allegedly putting the gun to a man’s head and telling him to follow. The man got away unharmed, as did everyone else.
Each assault charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term, each count for criminal endangerment is punishable up to 10 years and the kidnapping count carries a minimum of two years and up to 10. The maximum of all combined is 240 years.
Nobody but Hunter was physically injured. He broke his pelvis, arm and knee after jumping out of the window.
Shea said the delay in charges and arrest was because Hunter was recovering from serious injuries.
According to authorities, the incident began around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 when Hunter entered the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement building, pulled out a 9mm handgun and yelled that he was in danger and needed help.
A cleaning person and clerical staff who were in the lobby alerted detectives and Hunter ran into Synesis7, located across the street. He allegedly threatened to shoot "anyone without a badge" before firing four or five shots and jumping from a window and landing on a sidewalk 20 to 25 feet below.
Police learned later that once inside the Synesis7 building, people directed down a southern hallway that was largely unoccupied. Meanwhile, employees all congregated in the northern hallway and barricaded themselves inside.
But Shea said at some point during the ordeal, Hunter put the handgun to a man’s head but he was able to flee.
The day after the incident, Undersheriff George Skuletich noted that it was not a typical active-shooter situation and things could have gone differently.
For one thing, he said officers didn't have to respond from a second location, since the police station was involved in the incident. For another, the suspect seems not to have been motivated to "do a specific thing."