Updated: September shooting death ruled accidental
Published 11:14 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Albert Lea police announced Wednesday they have ruled the shooting death of a 28-year-old man in September as accidental.
The conclusion came after an investigation by the Albert Lea Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension into the Sept. 24 death of Cody Alan Baseman of Albert Lea at 1510 Academy Ave.
Albert Lea Deputy Director of Police J.D. Carlson said police were dispatched to the house after receiving a report of someone who had received a gunshot wound. When they arrived, they found Baseman and the home’s owner, Joseph Brigston, along with a woman, Sheryl Sorenson.
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Carlson said they attempted lifesaving efforts on Baseman but were unsuccessful.
Baseman’s body was sent to the medical examiner’s office. Though the medical examiner determined Baseman died of a gunshot wound, the office would not make a determination as to the way the shot was fired — whether it was from a suicide, homicide or some other explanation.
Carlson said the police and BCA investigation looked at evidence on both the inside and outside of the house and determined no foul play was intended during a struggle over a gun. Police believe Brigston attempted to recover a gun from Baseman, and at some point Baseman was shot. It is unknown who pulled the trigger.
The deputy director of police said the gun was a known firearm of Brigston’s, and it was well known where he stored it. Both Baseman and Brigston had been drinking.
A news release issued by the Police Department Wednesday described the shooting as “inadvertent” or accidental in nature. Carlson said the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office reviewed the report and found no basis for criminal charges.
“I think our department did a great job partnering with outside agencies on this, but it is a very sensitive deal. He left behind family, friends, children,” Carlson said.
Baseman’s family in December described him as the kind of person who would drop anything he was doing to help someone. He worked at E-Z Rental at the time of his death and previously had been a supervisor at Hardee’s. He loved to fix cars and had four children, ages 9, 5, 2 and almost 1.
They said he was a happy person who had made plans for the next day.