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‘Numerous’ firearms found with man arrested for shooting at kayakers

by DERRICK PERKINS
Daily Inter Lake | June 22, 2022 12:00 AM

Sheriff’s deputies arresting a man accused of shooting at kayakers in Lower Stillwater Lake over the weekend allegedly found him with a minivan loaded with weapons and ammunition.

Jeffrey Allen Smith, 48, faces four felony counts of assault with a weapon following the June 18 incident. According to court documents, authorities headed to a boat launch after one of the kayakers phoned in the shooting.

Deputies reported hearing gunshots as they approached the area, court documents said. Upon arrival, they found a man moving around a parked minivan. Using a vehicle-mounted public address system, they instructed the man, later identified as Smith, to back away from the minivan and raise his hands.

After taking Smith into custody, deputies scoped out his minivan. Though court documents offered few details about the weaponry, “officers observed numerous firearms and ammunition” in the minivan.

They also found roughly 15 shotgun casings on the ground between the minivan and the water’s edge, court documents said.

Following Smith’s arrest, one of the kayakers approached the shore. The man accused Smith of shooting at him and his family, telling deputies that the shots struck the water near to where they were paddling.

The man’s wife and son dove into the water to avoid the shots, he said. His daughter-in-law also described the close proximity of the shots and told deputies the incident left her frightened. According to court documents, the family attempted to paddle out of range until law enforcement arrived.

The charging documents do not list a reason, if any, for the shooting.

Smith is being held in county jail on a $100,000 bond. His arraignment in Flathead County District Court is set for June 28.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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