By Tim Leeds
A North Havre man was in serious condition at a hospital and another was in jail this morning after a shooting early today at a North Havre trailer court.
The victim, 38-year-old Randall Murphy, was in the intensive care unit of Northern Montana Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Kathie Newell said.
Wilmur Hart, also of North Havre, was in the Hill County Detention Center on a charge of attempted murder, acting Sheriff Don Brostrom said. The Hill County Attorney's Office was expected to review the case today and determine whether to formally charge Hart with attempted murder or a related charge, Brostrom said. He said Hart is about 51 years of age.
Brostrom said investigators were still trying to locate witnesses and get their statements to piece together what transpired.
"We're not quite sure what it was," Brostrom said.
The shooting occurred in a trailer at Head's Trailer Court at 631 Fifth Ave. N. in North Havre at 1:27 a.m. today. Brostrom said he believes both Murphy and Hart live at the trailer court.
Tammie Herrera, who lives in a back bedroom in the trailer, said the shooting happened as a Christmas party was winding down.
"It just freaked me out. Who could shoot my brother?" she said.
Herrera said everyone at the party rides the freight trains together and considers each other brother and sister. She said she has been in Havre about six months, living in the trailer for about four months with Murphy. Hart, who has the nickname "Hawkeye," has been in Havre about three months, she said.
Only four people were left at the party when the shooting occurred, Herrera said. She said Hart threw a beer bottle at another woman, which made Murphy angry.
"He beat him up," she said.
Herrera said Hart left the party, then returned for a brief time. After he left again, Murphy came into her room and collapsed on the couch, saying he had been shot, she said. Herrera said he had a gunshot wound in the upper right chest.
Herrera said she called 911 to get Murphy to the hospital. She said he was scheduled to go into surgery at 11 a.m. today.