HELENA — Police arrested a 48-year-old woman they say shot and killed her husband and another woman early Thursday, leading to a police standoff outside a Helena apartment building.
Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said Michelle Coller Gable has been charged with two counts of deliberate homicide. She was treated at a hospital for an undisclosed injury and released into police custody.
Authorities received a call reporting the shooting shortly after 6 a.m., Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said.
Neighbors said a SWAT team circled the home's perimeter and kept neighbors and passers-by out of the area for more than an hour before officers brought the injured outside before ambulances took them away.
A man McGee identified as Gable's 48-year-old husband died at the hospital, and officers found a 50-year-old woman dead inside the apartment, McGee said. The chief declined to release the victims' names but said the woman had recently moved to Helena from Texas and Gable had recently moved from Maryland.
McGee did not release any information on the type of weapon used or the motive in the shooting. He said officers were still investigating at the apartment building and more information was expected to be released Friday.
Yellow crime scene tape ran for a half-block in either direction and splattered blood was on the sidewalk outside a neighboring apartment building.
Lowell Luke, who lives across the street from the apartment building, said he and his wife Ruth were awakened before 6 a.m. by two pops.
"We thought it was firecrackers," Lowell Luke said.
He said the SWAT team cordoned off the entire block and kept neighbors out until he heard a bigger boom.
Officers led out a woman in handcuffs with an apparent head injury, Luke said.
"They sat her down and kept saying, 'Stay with us here, stay with us here,'" he said. She was eventually able to walk to a waiting ambulance.
Four officers carried out a second person, a man, and laid him on the sidewalk. Luke said the man was still alive at that time but had to be carried into an ambulance.
Another neighbor, Chris Hughes, whose apartment building was partially blocked by police tape, said two women lived in the apartment. He talked to one of them regularly whenever she passed by on her bicycle, he said.
Hughes said he did not think a man lived there.
"I woke up this morning to gunshots. That's all I know," he said.