MAHNOMEN, Minn. — The 22-year-old man accused of unleashing a hail of gunfire in the middle of a small northwest Minnesota town Sunday night, May 12, has been charged with attempted murder.
Police said Chase William Gagnon shot a 9mm handgun 11 times in the middle of Mahnomen, and an initial news release from the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office said the gunfire was in random directions.
But based on new eyewitness accounts gathered by detectives, charging documents allege Chase Gagnon intended to cause the death of others during the spree. Gagnon is now charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality.
A man who was driving through Mahnomen with his wife and child told detectives that the shooting suspect pointed a gun at their car and started to fire. The family could hear bullets hitting the pavement around the car.
Police also spoke with a man who was playing with his child at a nearby park who said he was able to hear five or six gunshots and the sound of bullets flying by them.
A cleaning crew at nearby bank told police they found a hole in a window. Court documents state police later found glass particles and suspected bullet fragments in the bank.
A witness who lives in a nearby apartment said she saw a man later identified as Gagnon acting strangely in his car. Gagnon then shot through the passenger window and climbed out of the seat to continue firing his gun, court documents allege. When he stopped firing, he took off his shoes and stood in the middle of the road, the witness said.
Gagnon would later be arrested by police without incident and later told police he had taken hallucinogenic mushrooms earlier that day, charging documents show. Police also found a bag of suspected marijuana on top of the car. He is being held on $250,000 bail in the Clearwater County Jail.
No one was hurt in the incident.