Feud over feeding deer turns fatal

Published 10:41 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NEW BRIGHTON — A long-running dispute between neighbors in a Twin Cities suburb over feeding deer ended with a man shot dead, a woman wounded and another man in jail, police said Tuesday.

Officers were called to a home in a residential area of New Brighton about 8:30 p.m. Monday and found a man fatally shot and his girlfriend wounded. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Her condition was not known, but New Brighton Police Chief Bob Jacobson said she is expected to survive.

Jacobson said there was a history of disputes between the victims and the suspect. Many of those complaints involved the suspect, a 57-year-old man, objecting to his neighbors feeding deer, the chief said. There also was an unconfirmed allegation that the suspect may have contracted some health issue because of the deer, Jacobson said.

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“I think it was a simple issue that just became more and more problematic for those neighbors and their families,” Jacobson said. “The unfortunate part of this, this is just such an unwarranted use of violence.”

The suspect, who lives across the street from the victims, called police from inside his home shortly after the shootings to turn himself in. The home where the shootings happened had bullet holes in the front door and its siding.

Police executed a search warrant and recovered a 12-gauge shotgun, believed to be the weapon used in the shootings, from the suspect’s house, Jacobson said.

Neighbor Kari Jaqua said the man who was killed “liked to feed the deer, and that’s what caused this whole thing.”

Names of the victims, both in their 40s, were not immediately released. The suspect remained in jail Tuesday. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said it expected to file charges before noon today.