Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A member of the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office removes caution tape Wednesday afternoon from the site of a double homicide in Pryor. Members of the Park County Sheriff’s Office apprehended suspect Jesus Deniz Mendoza in Meeteetse, Wyo. about two hours after the incident.This undated booking photo provided by the Park County Sheriff’s Office in Cody, Wyo. shows 18-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza of Worland, Wyo.

Suspect in double homicide of Pryor couple apprehended in Wyoming

Editor’s note: The following is the abbreviated version of an article that will be available in the Big Horn County News on Thursday, Aug. 6.

An 18-year-old Wyoming man wanted for the double homicide of a father and mother, and the injuring of their daughter, less than a mile from St. Charles Mission School in Pryor was apprehended Wednesday afternoon north of Meeteetse, Wyo. According to an FBI court filing, suspect Jesus Deniz Mendoza said he shot all three after asking them for roadside help because he “getting tired of waiting around” and one of the victims laughed at him.

Those who died in the attack were Jason Shane, 51, and Tana Shane, 47. Their daughter, 26-year-old Jorah Shane, was shot in the back, but escaped. An Associated Press article states that, as of Thursday night, she was recovering in a Billings hospital.

Buildings all across the Crow Reservation were placed on lockdown Wednesday in the hours following the 10:30 a.m. shooting, including the Crow Tribal Multi-Purpose Building in Crow Agency and Pryor’s Plenty Coups High School.

“We have a few kids who work here during the summer, so we shut all the shades and locked all the doors, and brought them into the central office area,” said Pryor Public Schools Superintendent Dan McGee. “I called 911 to make sure the Billings police would come in, and then we just sat and waited.”

The last time the school went into lockdown was four years ago, following reports in October 2011 that triple homicide suspect Sheldon Chase of Lodge Grass was coming towards Pryor.

“It [involved] members of the community, so it was very tough,” McGee said of having students in the building, “but they complied and stayed in lockdown.”

Following the suspect’s capture, Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote and Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Chief Jose Figueroa Jr. met in the high school to discuss the incident.

While Figueroa declined comment at press time, Old Coyote said the incident would make many Crow people think twice before helping others.

“The Crows look out for one another and I think that’s what the couple was doing – they were looking out for someone who was stranded and needed help,” Old Coyote said. “Why help people when you’re only going to get shot?”

The suspect, according to a Park County Sheriff’s Office press release, who was apprehended without incident at 12:30 p.m. by officers from Park County and the Wyoming Highway Patrol. He is currently being held in the Park County Detention Facility in Cody, Wyo. The homicide investigation will be handled by the BIA in Crow Agency. 

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