Brothers charged in shooting near Granite Falls did not know victim
GRANITE FALLS –– Two brothers from Balaton were charged Thursday in connection with a shooting last week in Granite Falls and are being held on $100,000 bail in the Yellow Medicine County Jail.
Devin Donald Hexum, 21, of Balaton faces two felony charges — attempted murder in the second degree and first-degree assault that caused great bodily harm.
According to the criminal complaint, he took a wallet from a man he had just met, shot him repeatedly at close range and left him seriously wounded on the edge of state Highway 23.
His 19-year-old brother, Derek Michael Hexum, was charged with a felony count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest. He also faces a felony charge from Lyon County for fleeing a peace officer in connection with a high-speed chase Monday across several county lines as police pursued the brothers.
The story began at about 12:40 a.m. July 18, when authorities were notified that a man, covered in blood, was lying on the road at the intersection of Highway 23 and 260th Avenue.
It was initially thought the man had been hit by a car, but the victim, identified as Daniel Lee Scheff, 30, told police at the scene that he had been shot after being given a ride in a pickup by two men he did not know.
“They shot me and stole my wallet,” Scheff reportedly told police at the scene.
After initially being treated at the Granite Falls emergency room, he was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis with life-threatening injuries.
In an interview three days later in his hospital room, Scheff told sheriff’s deputies what he remembered from the night of July 18.
According to the complaint, Scheff said he was in Granite Falls when a pickup, occupied by two men he did not know, drove up to him.
After talking with the two men, later identified as the Hexum brothers, Scheff said he got in the pickup with them and they were heading toward the casino when the truck experienced mechanical troubles and stopped on the shoulder of the road.
Scheff told police that he and Devin Hexum got out of the truck and began walking on a gravel road leading to the home of a relative of Scheff in search for assistance with the truck.
The younger Hexum, who was allegedly the driver, stayed in the vehicle.
Devin Hexum allegedly asked Scheff where his money was, while at the same time the pickup came driving up to them.
Devin Hexum allegedly reached into his waistband, pulled out a handgun, pointed it d irectly at the victim and began shooting him, multiple times, at close range, according to the complaint.
Scheff told police he was about five feet away when Hexum allegedly started firing the gun and that he continued shooting until Scheff was down on the ground.
Hexum allegedly then got into the pickup with his brother and sped away.
According to the complaint, Scheff told police he would never forget the face of the man who shot him.
A couple days after the shooting, an acquaintance of the brothers told police that the Devin Hexum allegedly told him about picking up a stranger who was riding bike in town, taking him out of town and shooting him.
The brothers allegedly asked the friend for money so that they could get out of Minnesota.
Police located Derek Hexum’s truck in Lyon County on Tuesday afternoon and attempted to execute a search warrant.
Before that could happen, the brothers allegedly took off, resulting in a high-speed chase with police that lasted about 45 minutes.
The chase ended when a State Patrol officer used a “pursuit intervention technique” maneuver that caused the truck to flip and roll into the ditch.