Shooting victim released from hospital, tells his story
By John Grant Emeigh Of The Montana Standard
Phillip Ross had no idea someone had been shooting a gun outside his
Walnut Street home when he stepped outside early Saturday morning.
He had gone out to investigate a noise when he was struck by three bullets.
53, said he was released from St. James Healthcare Monday afternoon and
was feeling better. That same afternoon, two young men were charged in
Butte Justice Court in connection with the shooting.
Woody J. Campbell, 20, and Robert A. Taylor, 21, face life in prison if convicted.
was charged with felony attempted deliberate homicide, and Taylor with
felony attempted deliberate homicide by accountability. Both crimes
carry a sentence of a minimum of 10 years or up to 100 years in prison.
Butte Justice Bob Lee set their bonds at $250,000 each and both remain in jail Monday afternoon.
Court records allege Taylor was driving while Campbell,
his passenger, fired out from the window of the vehicle with a .22
caliber rifle and shot Ross about 2:50 a.m. When reached at his home by
telephone Monday, Ross told the Montana Standard
that he was shot three times, including in the arm and in the back. He said one of the bullets was still lodged in his body.
“It’s about an inch from my lung,” he said.
Bow Sheriff John Walsh said the suspects apparently didn’t know the
victim and may have mistaken him for someone else. The shooting may
have been motivated by one of the suspects trying to harm his
ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, Walsh said.
Just before Ross was
shot, investigators allege the two Butte men were involved in shooting
the new boyfriend’s pickup truck, which happened to be parked outside
of Ross’s home at 2109 Walnut. After firing several shots from the .22
caliber rifle into the 1980 Ford pickup, the pair drove around the
block and returned, police said. Taylor is then accused of
intentionally backing his vehicle into the pickup truck.
Ross heard the crash, he stepped outside and was allegedly shot by
Campbell, according to the police report. The suspects drove away after
Ross was transported to St. James HealthCare were he was treated for the gunshot wounds, before being released Monday.
said the ex-girlfriend knew prior to the shooting that her ex-boyfriend
wanted to damage her new boyfriend’s truck. The sheriff said her new
boyfriend parked his truck several blocks away from his girlfriend’s
house so the ex-boyfriend wouldn’t find it.
Walsh said the
ex-girlfriend identified Campbell as possibly being involved in the
shooting. Police arrested Campbell and Taylor at Campbell’s residence
at 55 Missoula.
Walsh said there could have been as many as 10
shots or more fired that morning. Some of the shots hit Ross’ home.
Ross said his three young grandchildren were in the house at the time
of the shooting.
Campbell also faces felony charges of criminal
endangerment in connection with shooting at an occupied house and
criminal mischief in connection with shooting the pickup truck. Taylor
faces these two charges by accountability. Taylor also was charged with
misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs after police say he
had a small amount of marijuana on him when he was arrested.
The charges were filed by Deputy County Attorney Kelli Fivey.
will be appointed a public defender, while Taylor told Justice Lee that
he has hired defense attorney Brad Belke to represent him.
Ross said he was shocked that he was a victim of such violent crime from people he doesn’t even know.
“I’m a nice guy, I don’t bother anybody,” he said.