Montana woman opens fire at hotel while under my influence

A 40-year-old woman in Chubbuck, Montana, faces multiple felonies after shooting a revolver into the front desk of a Chubbuck hotel and threatening to shoot at least three people.

Photo courtesy of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office

Bannock County Sheriff’s Office

The woman has been identified as Rebecca Lynn O’Connell of Melrose, Montana.

O’Connell was accused of:

  • Three counts of aggravated assault
  • A count of the firing of a firearm in an occupied building
  • A complaint of negligent damage to property

It all began in a Wyndham Pocatello Travelodge on Burnside Avenue. O’Connell called the police and reported that she had shot herself in the hand. She said she was still armed with the gun and would shoot anyone who got too close.

Suitcase delivered standing in the hotel room. Hotel service and travel concept

Getty Images/iStockphoto

When officers arrived at the hotel, they saw an employee behind the front desk with his hands over his head. O’Connell was armed with a .357 Magnum revolver and was pacing the lobby.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Other officers stood outside the hotel, armed with rifles and ballistic shields. O’Connell eventually left the hotel’s front lobby.

O’Connell was then ordered by police to drop the revolver and lie face down on the ground, which authorities said she did.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

She was handcuffed and taken to the squad car. At the time, O’Connell’s friend, Challis Bloxham, approached police while shouting.

Officers arrested Bloxham and searched him, finding a speedloader and bullets for a .38 Special revolver in his coat pocket, police said.

Black gun and bullet casings on a wooden table

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After an interview with O’Connell, she admitted to using methamphetamine about 12 hours before. Her story was that her boyfriend tried to kill her and that the hotel receptionist provided them with chloroformed towels.

O’Connell said Bloxham would kill her by putting the chloroform-laced towel over her mouth. Police found absolutely no evidence to support O’Connell’s claims.

Image of maid with fresh towels in hotel room

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Police added that they later found evidence of a bullet hole in the reception.

When emergency medical personnel checked O’Connell’s hand, they found that she was not shot, she had superficial cuts on her hand.

Officers found a gun and drug paraphernalia in the hotel room that O’Connell and Bloxham shared.

O’Connell was subsequently charged and sent to the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello.

Read more here: Idaho State Journal

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