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Moorhead man faces murder charge, accused of killing man he'd recently fired

MOORHEAD -- The man accused in a fatal shooting in Moorhead last week had been the victim's boss before recently firing him, then letting him live in his garage for a few days before shooting him twice from behind, authorities say.

Neil James Johnson, 25, Moorhead, is being held in the Clay County Jail in connection with a shooting death in south Moorhead late Thursday night, April 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Clay County Jail
Neil James Johnson, 25, Moorhead, is being held in the Clay County Jail in connection with a shooting death in south Moorhead late Thursday night, April 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Clay County Jail

MOORHEAD -- The man accused in a fatal shooting in Moorhead last week had been the victim’s boss before recently firing him, then letting him live in his garage for a few days before shooting him twice from behind, authorities say.

Neil James Johnson, 25, is accused of killing Jacob Glover, 28, of West Fargo, on Thursday night, April 6, at a south Moorhead home, a shooting that came amid Johnson’s concerns about Glover trying to steal some coins from the father of a mutual acquaintance, police allege in court records.

Johnson, of Moorhead, was charged Monday in Clay County District Court with second-degree murder with intent but without premeditation.

Glover’s fiance, Ashley Dowling, told The Forum on Friday that Johnson was a good friend of Glover. Johnson told police Glover was “a really good guy” who had recently broken up with his girlfriend, a complaint filed with the charges says.

According to court documents filed Monday:

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Johnson phoned police dispatchers around 8:51 p.m. Thursday to say he had shot someone at 1813 16th St. S. .

When police arrived at the scene, Johnson told them he had shot at someone three times and that the person had run out of his garage and was no longer at the residence. Glover was found lying in a driveway a few houses away.

During a police interview, Johnson said he met Glover a few months ago when Glover went to work for Don’s Car Wash, which Johnson managed.

Johnson said he recently fired Glover, but allowed him to live in his garage for the past three or four nights.

He also told police that on the day of the shooting a friend identified in the documents by the initials T.M. warned him to be wary of Glover because Glover had tried to steal some coins that belonged to the friend’s father.

Johnson told police he had snorted methamphetamine that day and after hearing about the attempted theft he became afraid of Glover and armed himself with a gun.

When Glover arrived at the garage, an argument ensued when Glover saw that Johnson was armed. Johnson said at one point during the argument Glover said he was going to break his neck and moments later, Johnson said he pointed the gun at Glover and pulled the trigger.

Johnson said the gun misfired, causing Glover to “freeze,” but Johnson said he pulled the trigger again and it fired.

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Johnson said Glover started to repeat over and over that he had shot him and continued to come toward him, at which point Johnson said he fired the gun two more times.
T.M. told police he witnessed the incident, stating that Glover said, “Do it, do it, do it,” as Glover walked toward Johnson. The witness said Johnson fired three times and Glover left through a door of the garage.

The documents said a provisional medical report revealed Grover died from two gunshot wounds, one to the victim’s back and the other to his back hip area. Neither wound indicated the gun was fired at close range, the report said.

Prosecutors recommended unconditional bail of $1 million or $500,000 with conditions.

Related Topics: CRIMEPOLICEMOORHEAD
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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