Fox Club Shooting Coroner’s Inquest Begins, Girlfriend of Deceased Reveals Pregnancy
The Coroner's Inquest on a shooting that occurred in the parking lot of Missoula's Fox Club Cabaret Strip Club has begun, and already there is a new element of tragedy.
Christopher Hymel of Louisiana was shot and killed in a confrontation between himself and shooter Michael Gordon on September 1.
The Coroner's Inquest must determine what types, if any charges should be filed against Gordon. Gordon maintains that the shooting occurred because he felt his life was threatened.
One of the revelations from the hearing came from Hymel's girlfriend Megan Navarro, who took the stand with tears in her eyes. Navarro was at the scene of the shooting and revealed during her testimony that she was pregnant with Hymel's child. The pregnancy was not discovered until three days after the shooting.
Witnesses on the stand including, Hymel's friend Stephen Ellingston helped to put the series of incidents in context.
According to testimony, tensions began when Michael Gordon reportedly said some unflattering things to two women that were with Hymel in the Fox Club parking lot at about 1:00 a.m. Hymel then approached Gordon who was still in his vehicle, which is when the physical violence began.
Hymel reportedly began punching Gordon through the driver's-side window, and then stepped back to take off his shirt. While Hymel was removing his shirt, Gordon exited the truck and shot Hymel in the chest with a high caliber Ruger.
State Crime Lab Chief Gary Dale said that the the bullet destroyed Hymel's aorta and lodged itself in the "sixth or seventh thoracic vertebrae." Hymel was unconscious almost immediately after the shot and died shortly thereafter.