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Family of Michael Duran speak about son's death in Billings road-rage incident

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Posted at 8:35 PM, Oct 11, 2022

BILLINGS - Michael Duran was shot and killed in downtown Billings along Fourth Avenue North and nearly two months later, there have been no arrests. Police have not released the name of the suspected shooter.

The 29-year-old died on Aug. 20, when he was shot and killed during a road rage incident that escalated.

On Tuesday, Sylvia Duran said she will forever cling to memories of her son, Michael.

"As a son, this kid was special. When he was five years old, he knew my favorite color, he knew what flowers I liked. He went outside and planted flowers outside my window when he was like seven. He was so loving and would notice everything about you. If you met him, he would know who you were. If you were hurting, he would know and call you up……as a mom he was a great son. He would call me to see how I was doing. He was such an adventurer," Sylvia said in a video call from her home in Whittier, California.

Almost two months after his death, the person who shot him has yet to be arrested or publicly identified.

"It’s a little frustrating because we’re so far away (in California), and we’ve gotten zero information. We’ve called the police and they did give me some information. I was grateful for that, but I had to call them," added Sylvia.

Sylvia and her daughter, Jessica, have spent the past two months reliving what happened here in their minds. But they are still "nowhere close" to finding closure, they said.

'"You replay it in your head. How it could’ve escalated to that point, and there’s nothing you can come up with to take somebody's life. You don’t bring a gun to a fistfight. I don’t understand how it could be so egregious, and what could’ve escalated it because nothing is valid. Nothing. There is 100 other ways that could’ve gone, 1,000 other ways that could’ve gone and that person made a choice to take a life for what reason?" said Jessica.

According to Michael’s mother, the doctor in the ER told her that her son wasn’t just shot once, but multiple times.

"She said he had at least, 12-15 bullet wounds, that doesn’t mean he had been shot that many times but that many wounds in his body. 12-15 is an awful lot of gunshots. She was able to say there was at least five bullets. She said she saw at least five," Sylvia added.

Even so, the man who shot him was never detained. Billings police told MTN News Tuesday that detectives are in the final stages of their investigation. County Attorney Scott Twito has said investigators have to rule out the possibility the shooter fired in self-defense.

Duran’s family is convinced Michael was murdered, and they want the person who shot him to be punished.

"I do think they should serve some time and I do believe if they do serve time, it can turn their life around where this will never happen again..... I don’t know about life in prison because that’s not going to bring my son back, but I do want justice. I want them to pay for the crime they committed. I think that’s fair," added Sylvia.

In the meantime, the family will continue to mourn their son and brother. A man who they say could connect with anyone.

"He was just so passionate; he could have a conversation with somebody, and it was like he’s known them for 20 years," Jessica added.

"My son had a great heart. He was 29 years old, and he was just starting his life as a man. He was just getting to that point in his life where he saw life a lot a whole lot differently this past year. And I feel like they took him at his prime where he was just ready to be everything he was supposed to be," Sylvia said.