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Police seeking shooting suspect

Police are searching for a 23-year-old man in connection with the Oct.

Police are searching for a 23-year-old man in connection with the Oct. 25 shooting of Miguel Torres in south Moorhead.

Authorities believe Hector Ontoniel Flores tried to kill Torres, 29, when he shot him in the hand with a 9 mm handgun during a Moorhead house party at 2902 Eagle Drive.

Prosecutors filed charges in Clay County District Court Tuesday against Flores for second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault with a gun causing substantial bodily harm.

Court records show Torres told investigators that he blocked the bullet from striking his chest with his hand. Torres then sought treatment for his wounds at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo.

Moorhead police said they were called to the hospital after Torres arrived and refused to release information about the incident.


Since the shooting, police are uncertain of the whereabouts of Flores, who last lived in Greenwood Trailer Park in Moorhead. Police say he is 5 feet 7 inches tall, 147 pounds and has a brother with the same first and last names. However, his brother's middle name is Lieonel.

"At this time, we want the public to use caution," said Moorhead Police Sgt. Chris Carey. "Any info to get him in custody would benefit the community."

Flores and Torres knew each other and argued briefly at the party before the shooting, Carey said.

Police say the shooting involved neither drugs nor gangs, which were both factors in an unrelated fatal shooting Aug. 29 in Moorhead.

"It was more of a machismo thing," Carey said. "They were trying to prove who was more macho."

Carey said the adult daughter of the home's owner, Timothy Fischer, hosted the party. He declined to name the woman.

Fischer said he wasn't home at the time of the shooting, reported to police at 1 a.m. Oct. 25. He arrived home that night about 3 a.m. after driving home from an Elk hunting trip in Colorado.

"It was a big surprise to find police in front of my home," Fischer said Tuesday. "This is the biggest surprise of my life."


Fischer said he learned his daughter and her party guests only vaguely knew Flores, who wasn't invited to the party.

Flores arrived at the party late, picked a fight and shot Torres, Fischer said.

He said his daughter promised him she wouldn't have a party in his absence

"You know these darn kids, they do it anyway," he said. "All I know is that I'm lucky somebody didn't get killed. I'm unlucky because I have a bullet hole in my cupboards."

Carey said Fischer has cooperated with the police investigation.

Court records say:

Two people ran out of the Eagle Drive home when police officers arrived. The officers stopped the two and found blood and a blood trail.

Officers also noticed evidence that people cleaned up the crime scene. They located cleaning rags, gloves and sponges in a second-floor washing machine.


The victim and five witnesses identified Flores from police mug shots.

Clay County Attorney Lisa Borgen emphasized the importance of finding Flores soon.

"I think that it is very important that we pick him up as soon as possible," she said. "Someone who attempts to murder someone is very dangerous."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michael Benedict at (701) 241-5557

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