Arrest made in shooting of Sidney HS grad

Local News
Tristen Carlson

Photo: Sidney Daily News

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (WDTN) – A Montana man has been charged with negligent homicide in connection with the shooting death of Malmstrom Air Force Base airman Tristen Carlson, a 2016 graduate of Sidney High School.

Our friends at the Sidney Daily News report that the Great Falls Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at an apartment complex around 2:30 a.m. on February 2.

During the 911 call, the dispatcher said the caller could be heard speaking with a male. Detectives believe the two were collaborating about what information to provide dispatch.

When police arrived, it appeared that there had been a large house party at the residence and police observed numerous beer cans and other alcohol around the apartment.

21-year-old Tristen Carlson was dead when law enforcement arrived.

READ MORE: Hundreds turn out for ceremonial procession to honor Sidney HS grad killed in Montana

Christopher Contardo was identified at the scene as the shooter, according to the affidavit.

During an interview, a woman told police that she, Contardo, and Carlson were in a bedroom during the party. She said the three were laying on a bed, she was intoxicated and drifting off to sleep but remembered seeing Contardo sitting on the edge of the bed and then pacing around the room several times.

She said the next thing she remembered was her ears ringing, Contardo yelling, and seeing that Carlson had been shot.

Detectives determined the gun used belonged to Contardo, who habitually kept it next to his bed. The medical examiner’s report indicated it was extremely unlikely that Carlson had shot himself.

Contardo was arrested Monday on a $50,000 warrant for negligent homicide. The Cascade County Detention Center says he has since bonded out.

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