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Bond set at $1M for man accused of fatal shooting near NDSU

Raymond Gunn and Eric Hayes did not know each other before they got into a confrontation that led to the latter's death, prosecutors said Wednesday in court.

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Raymond Gunn appears via interactive television for a hearing in Cass County Court on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — A Fargo man accused in a fatal weekend shooting near North Dakota State University will be held on a $1 million bond, despite pleas by an attorney to release him on what she called more reasonable conditions.

Raymond Christopher Gunn, 40, appeared Wednesday, July 28, in Cass County District Court on one count of murder, a felony charge that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison. He is accused of shooting 41-year-old Eric Hayes of Fargo during a Saturday night confrontation at the Loaf 'N Jug, 1201 N. University Drive.

Police found Hayes with a gunshot wound to his stomach, according to a criminal complaint. He was taken to Sanford Medical Center, where he died.

Hayes and Gunn did not know each other, prosecutor Renata Olafson Selzer said Wednesday in court. Gunn confronted Hayes by pulling a gun on him, according to court documents, but it’s unclear why.

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An incident report describes attempts by Hayes and another person to distance themselves from Gunn. Gunn allegedly approached Hayes again with the gun, and Hayes retreated backward.

Hayes then "changes positions with Gunn, prompting Gunn to retreat halfway around the car, the incident report said. Gunn fell backward and shot Hayes once in the stomach, the report said.

Hayes was a complete stranger to Gunn, which Selzer said made her concerned about the safety of the public should Gunn be released from jail. She also said he could be a flight risk, citing ties to Illinois.

In arguing against prosecutors’ recommendations for a $1 million bond, attorney Elizabeth Brainard said Gunn had a limited criminal history and was a legal gun owner. She also noted he stayed at the scene of the shooting and cooperated with police.

A more reasonable bond would be $15,000 cash, Brainard said.

“I just want to clear my name, and I can help with my defense if I’m out of jail,” Gunn said.

Brainard said she would be unable to represent Gunn any further in pretrial proceedings due to a conflict of interest. Another attorney will be appointed in the case.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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