Prosecutor: South Fargo trailer house shooting was self-defense
Prosecutors say both the man who fired the gun and his best friend who was shot gave very similar stories about the July 4 shooting in south Fargo.
FARGO — A south Fargo man detained for attempted murder after shooting his best friend multiple times has been released from jail.
Prosecutors are saying the shooting was self-defense, and they do not plan to file charges against Kyle Lovaas.
"He (expletive) came at me like a mad man, and I (expletive) shot him," Lovaas can be heard saying to the 911 dispatcher.
He told the dispatcher he fired six shots from a handgun.
Tin Nguyen, 24, was shot in the chest and stomach. A detective can be heard commenting on body camera video that Nguyen lost so much blood that his heart stopped.
Doctors at Sanford were able to revive him, according to police.
Lovaas did not elaborate on what happened inside his bedroom other than to say there was a fight, and the shooting was in self-defense.
He demanded a lawyer and did not give any statements to police.
After doctors were able to save Nguyen's life, he provided police with a much clearer picture from his hospital bed.
He said he and Lovaas were drinking for hours around a fire at Lovaas' home and that Lovaas became extremely drunk.
"He was like acting like an idiot. I'm trying to put him to bed," Nguyen told the detective.
He said that turned into a brawl inside the bedroom. Nguyen told the detective he started using UFC fight moves. Lovaas then pulled out a gun and demanded Nguyen leave the home, Nguyen said, adding he tried to grab the gun.
"Grabbed it like this and stuff (inaudible) knock it down," Nguyen told the detective.
"Did you get your hand on the gun at all?" the detective asked.
"No, he shot me right away because I missed," Nguyen said.
After comparing Lovaas' 911 call with Nguyen's bedside interview, prosecutors determined they would not be able to disprove a self-defense claim and opted not to charge Lovaas. He was initially detained for attempted murder and was in Cass County Jail for less than 24 hours.
"This was a mutual fight, and there was a substantial self-defense claim here," said Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Ryan Younggren.
"The most important thing in this case was the statement we got from the victim, and his statement really corroborated much of what the suspect had said. And also, when asked about self-defense, he had said 'I could see how this could be a self-defense case,'" Younggren said. "... Those kind of things we don't often hear from people that are shot."
While being questioned at the hospital, Nguyen repeatedly asked the officer if he was going to be charged for attacking Lovaas. Prosecutors said he will not.