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Residents react to early morning shooting in central Helena

800 block of Abbey Street.jpg
Posted at 8:15 AM, Aug 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 10:15:47-04

HELENA — Helena Police are searching for a suspect in a shooting that left two people injured on the 800 block of Abbey Street just after 1:00 A.M. Thursday morning. MTN spoke with residents about what they heard in the early hours.

“Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! And that last bullet we heard, it had ricocheted off of something metal in the area and I just told my husband to get inside and lock the doors, turn the lights off, and I just called 911 right away,” says resident Andrea Chandler.

Husband and wife, Darren and Andrea Chandler say the gunshots came out of nowhere, and they heard no argument or raised voices outside to warn of any possible conflict nearby.

“I mean we were just out sitting on our porch and then just all of a sudden gunshots like 20 yards away from us. It's not a very fun situation, especially when you have your 3-year-old right upstairs and you hear ricochets, so it was kind of just like fight or flight kicked in. We kind of just like booked it inside right up to her . . . So once we got upstairs my wife immediately got on the phone with 911 and it was like 2, 3 minutes maybe and the cops were just all over the place,” says resident Darren Chandler.

When investigators arrived, they found two men had been shot. Both suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The men were taken by ambulance to the hospital

“We seen him laying right out here on the ground. He had been shot through the leg, through the thigh, clean through,” says Andrea.

Investigators say the suspect fled the scene. Police have yet to identify him but say he’s 5’6” to 5’8” tall. Police say he wore a face covering during the shooting and a black hoodie.

“I know he ran that way somewhere and then that was kind of the last we heard of him at least,” says Darren.

Authorities say that based on the information gathered so far, they don’t believe there is a threat to the community.

Darren and Andrea thanked law enforcement for their quick response.

“Thank you to the Helena Police Department and the Sheriff's Department. I mean they came out here and they did a really good job. So, it made us feel a lot better when they got here,” says Darren.

“Just be safe and be careful out there because nobody knows where he is right now,” says Andrea.

If you have any information about this incident or the suspect, call 911.