A beloved Crow couple is dead, their seven children orphaned and a daughter wounded when the three were shot by a stranded motorist they were assisting on the Montana reservation.
Court documents filed by the FBI allege that Tana and Jason Shane Jr., aged 47 and 51 respectively, were shot by 18-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza of Worland, Wyoming. Their daughter, 26-year-old Jorah Shane, was wounded but is recovering in a hospital. Relatives on Thursday were still trying to figure out how to tell the daughter that her parents are dead.
The killings have rocked the community.
“The streets were empty on Thursday, and many in the community said they are scared,” reported KULR TV news. “Some are wondering how something like this could happen in such a small and peaceful town and to such nice people.”
The couple had two sons and five daughters, according to the Billings Gazette, the youngest just out of high school.
Community members told KULR and the FBI that the suspect had asked Tana Shane for help and she had gone back to her house, gotten her husband and daughter, and returned. From there it got ugly. He drew a gun, ordered them out of their car, demanded money and then shot them when all they had was change, the FBI said in court documents quoted by the Billings Gazette and other media. Pryor is about 30 miles south of Billings.
The shooting took place at about 10:30 on Wednesday July 29. A Park County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested Deniz hours later, more than 100 miles away near Meeteetse, Wyoming, CNN said. He was due in court on July 31.
Deniz “shot the victims because he was getting tired of waiting around, and because the daughter laughed at him,” according to the FBI’s criminal complaint, quoted by CNN.
“The daughter said Mendoza told them to start walking away from the car. She heard a gunshot and turned back to see her father lying on the road,” CNN reported, paraphrasing the FBI document. “The woman heard another gunshot and heard her mother scream. She was running and didn’t look back.”