National News

Tribe chairman: Drugs, gang activity behind triple slayings

Posted August 6

— Drugs and gang activity were factors in a residential shooting that killed three people and injured two others on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation, the tribe's chairman said.

Friday's shootings in the town of Lodge Grass involved methamphetamine, Crow Tribal Chairman Alvin Not Afraid Jr. said. He did not elaborate, the Billings Gazette reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/2wk7uU0). Levi Flinn, a Crow Agency spokesman, said he did not have additional information on Sunday.

"Drugs have a devastating effect on our communities, and yesterday's incident is a reminder of that," Not Afraid told local news media late Saturday.

Investigators did not say whether anyone was being sought in connection with the shootings. Lodge Grass is a town of just more than 400 people about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Billings.

Terry Bullis, the Big Horn County coroner, on Sunday released the names of those who were killed: Leslie Frank Nomee Jr., 27; Nomee's wife, Denise Stewart Nomee, 25; and Nehemiah Brokenrope, 30.

Nomee and Brokenrope died at Crow-Northern Cheyenne Hospital after the Friday shootings. Denise Nomee died Saturday at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

The tribe announced a 9 p.m.-to-5 a.m. reservation-wide curfew as a precaution after the shootings. The Crow Agency Police Department said the curfew would continue at least through Sunday night.

The Crow Indian Reservation encompasses nearly 5,000 square miles (12,800 square kilometers), or about the size of the state of Connecticut. Roughly 8,000 tribal members live on the reservation.

The FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Montana Highway Patrol and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office were investigating. FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker said Sunday there have been no arrests, but did not state whether anyone was being sought in connection with the shootings.

Tribal leaders planned to hold a meeting late Sunday with the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs on the investigation, Flinn said.

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