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Published June 20, 2009, 08:20 PM

LATEST: Moorhead police say 17-year-old shot, killed in apartment intrusion

UPDATED 8:16 p.m.
MOORHEAD – Police have identified a 17-year-old Moorhead male shot and killed by a resident who encountered the teen intruder in his apartment early this morning.

By: Devlyn Brooks and Sherri Richards, INFORUM

UPDATED 8:16 p.m.

MOORHEAD – Police have identified a 17-year-old Moorhead male shot and killed by a resident who encountered the teen intruder in his apartment early this morning.

Vernon Albert Allen wasn’t charged with a crime after being detained by police for questioning since early this morning, Moorhead Police Lt. Tory Jacobson said in a news release about 4 p.m.

“After careful consideration and consultation with the Clay County Attorney’s Office, Mr. Allen is no longer being detained and there are no criminal charges pending against him,” Jacobson said.

“Mr. Allen has been cooperative with the investigation and has the right to return home at this time after a very disturbing critical incident,” he said later.

Allen shot and killed the teen at 12:06 a.m. today after the male entered his upstairs apartment at 1103 19th St. S. in Moorhead. Allen yelled at the teen to leave and when he didn’t, a physical fight broke out, according to police. Allen then grabbed his shotgun and the intruder was shot in the chest or abdomen during a struggle.

Police today asked for assistance in identifying the deceased teen, who was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner Office for examination.

Jacobson said police are withholding the teen's identity pending notification of his family.

Police and witnesses say the teen who was shot had first entered an unlocked downstairs apartment in the four-plex, where resident Sara Graham scared him away.

Graham said in an interview late Saturday morning that she didn’t know who he was and told him to get out.

After he left without incident, Graham said she ran out her apartment building and down the driveway, thinking she was chasing after him.

Then she heard a bang.

Going back to her apartment, Graham met the intruder again going into her apartment a second time. He then made his way into her daughters’ unoccupied bedroom where he collapsed, she said. He was bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest and wailing uncontrollably, Graham said.

“There’s nothing like the sound of a grown man when he cries when he’s been shot,” Graham said.

Graham said her two daughters, ages 11 and 8, were at their grandmother’s house Saturday.

At the same time Graham was following the intruder into her own apartment, her upstairs neighbor, Allen, called 911 to say he had shot an intruder in his apartment.

The teen who was shot received medical attention at the apartment, police said, and was transported to Innovis Health in Fargo, where he died.

Allen told police that the intruder was intoxicated.

Late this morning, a man sitting outside 1107 19th St. S., the neighboring apartment complex, who identified himself as David Allen, Vernon Albert Allen’s brother said his brother must have been protecting himself.

“Knowing my brother it had to be self-defense,” David Allen said. “He’s the caretaker (for the apartment building). When something happens, he calls the cops and gets them involved.”

He added that he’d been in his brother’s apartment after the shooting and that it appeared there was a struggle. He said there was blood in the apartment. Neighbors said the street and the two apartment buildings that share a parking lot were cordoned off with police tape in the early morning hours after the shooting. Late Saturday morning drops of blood dotted the carpeted stairway from the upstairs apartment down to Graham’s apartment.

According to public records, Vernon A. Allen, 47, previously lived in Buffalo, N.D., and Fargo.

Check back to www.inforum.com for more updates and read Sunday's Forum for more details