A Native American couple was shot to death and their daughter wounded Wednesday when they stopped to help a man who had run out of gas on the Montana, Crow Reservation.
The attack happened at around 10:30 a.m. A suspect, identified by a Wyoming Highway Patrol dispatcher as Jesus Deniz, — also known as Jesus Deniz Mendoza — was arrested at around 12:30 p.m. about eight miles north of Meeteetse, Wyo.
Deniz was taken into custody without incident and is being held in the Park County Detention Center.
Bryce Hugs, who is serving as a family spokesman, said his aunt, Tana Shane, 50, and his uncle, Jason Shane, 52, were killed. Their daughter Jora Shane, 24, was shot, but escaped.
Hugs said his aunt drove by a stranded man on Pryor Creek Road just south of Pryor and went home and picked up her husband and daughter to offer help. The family traveled to the corner store in Pryor to get gasoline, but the store was closed. When they returned to the stranded man, the shooting took place.
“When they came back to help him, that’s when it all took place,” Hugs said. “(He) killed both of them and then shot the daughter,” Hugs said. “It grazed her in the head and when she took off (he) shot her in the back.”
Hugs said Jora Shane ran to a nearby school and met a car there. She was given a ride back to her home and returned to the scene of the shooting with some family members. She was taken to a Billings hospital.
The Shanes leave two sons and five daughters behind. The youngest graduated from high school this year, Hugs said.
Big Horn County Undersheriff Bart Elliott told the Helena Independent Record that Jora Shane is “incoherent” in a hospital.
Another relative, Ada Shane told The Associated Press on Thursday that her niece was shot in the back as she was running from the gunman.
Ada Shane says, the man pointed a gun at Jason Shane’s head, ordered them out of the car and told them to give him their money.
Ada Shane says Jason Shane told his daughter to run. She heard gunshots before she fell.
Mother was a member of the largest Crow Nation Clan
If Deniz is charged with first-degree murder, it could become a death penalty case.
Deniz’s Facebook profile photo declares ‘Brown Pride’ and judging by the posts on his wall, Spanish is Deniz’s first language.