Montana Woman Faces 20-Year Prison Term for Hospital Gunfire

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Written By Angela Angela






A woman who shot herself and was then shot by a police officer in a Billings hospital has been sentenced to prison.

Panda Emily Aradia, 38, will serve 20 years in prison, with five years suspended, after being found guilty of criminal endangerment and assault with a weapon.

The incident occurred on October 16, 2022, at the Billings Clinic Emergency Department. Aradia brought a handgun into the hospital and threatened to harm herself and others. Shots were fired by Aradia and a police officer during the incident.

Aradia also received a concurrent five-year suspended sentence for pleading no contest to felony stalking in another case. This case involved her violating a protection order by behaving inappropriately towards someone who had rejected her romantic advances.

Aradia will likely serve her sentence at the Montana Women’s Prison. Her defense attorney had argued for a lighter sentence due to her being transgender.

Prosecutors argued that Aradia deserved a prison sentence because the shooting occurred in a hospital.

Aradia entered the hospital at around 5 p.m. with a concealed handgun, seeking help for suicidal thoughts. While in a triage room, she pulled out the handgun and pointed it at a nurse, then at herself, threatening to shoot if help didn’t arrive within three minutes.

After the nurse left and alerted staff, hospital security officers and later, police officers, tried to intervene. Aradia was shot by an officer when she reached for the pistol and pulled it towards her.

Aradia survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound, which was non-life-threatening. The bullet went through a wall into an adjacent room, but no one else was injured. Over 80 people were in the emergency area during the incident.

Deputy County Attorney Benjamin Lanford expressed that hospitals are meant to be safe places, and Aradia’s actions violated that sense of safety and healing for the community.

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