Man charged with attempted murder in Mahnomen shooting spree

Police say the man told them he had taken psychedelic drugs earlier that day.

Media - Mahnomen man arrested for shooting firearm 11 times

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.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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