BOZEMAN - A Bozeman man accused of shooting at another vehicle while driving on Huffine Tuesday night was seen in Gallatin County Justice Court on Wednesday morning.
Tyler J. Wellard, 31, was charged with three counts of criminal endangerment and three counts of assault with a weapon, all felony charges. Wellard has no recorded criminal history and his bail was set at $250,000.
According to charging documents, at 11:31 pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, law enforcement received a call about a disturbance with a weapon that occurred near the intersection of Huffine Lane and Circle F Trl.
A man reported that an unknown person had shot at his vehicle from another vehicle. The man was driving westbound on Huffine with two other people. The group had gone to a movie at Gallatin Valley Mall, which ended at 11 pm. When leaving the mall parking lot, the driver stopped at the stoplight in the right-hand turn lane. While the man was at the light, a Ford F150 pulled up behind his vehicle and then pulled around him as the light reportedly turned green. When the driver tried to get the vehicle’s license plate info, the driver swerved into his lane and braked quickly.
While stopped at the intersection of Huffine and Love Lane, the man reported that the driver, later identified as Wellard, had rolled down one of the windows on his vehicle. The men reported to law enforcement that they saw a flash of light come from inside the vehicle and heard a loud noise like a firecracker. The man then pulled over and saw a hole in the driver's side door, near the window frame.
When interviewed, Wellard told the detective that when he left the Taco Bell near the mall, he pulled behind a vehicle that was stopped at the light, waiting to make a right-hand turn onto Huffine Lane. He told the detective that he didn’t know why the vehicle was "just sitting there" when it could make a right turn on red. Wellard reported that he did go around the vehicle since they were not moving, but the vehicle came racing up behind him on Huffine.
Near the intersection of Huffine and Love, Wellard reportedly decided to brandish his gun at the other vehicle to get them to back off. As he was pointing his gun out of the back window of the F150 he reportedly said he accidentally pulled the trigger of his gun, firing a single round. Wellard reiterated several times that he did not intend to shoot his gun.
Wellard was stopped after a short time by law enforcement on Jackrabbit Lane. His next court appearance is set for May 20, 2022.