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Sacred Heart man charged in Sunday shooting

REDWOOD FALLS -- A 26-year-old Sacred Heart man was charged in Redwood County District Court Monday in the Sunday shooting of a man in rural Belview.

Ivan Morales was charged with one felony count of first-degree assault, one felony count of second-degree assault and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm.

Nathan Lee Kramer, 21, of Mankato was shot in his left ankle early Sunday morning after an argument with Morales at a party in rural Belview, according to the criminal complaint filed in Redwood County District Court.

Kramer was brought to the Redwood Area Hospital and was later treated at St. Joseph's Hospital in Mankato, according to the Redwood County Sheriff's Department. The shot shattered the bone in his ankle, according to the complaint. He had also been struck in the head with what he believed was the butt end of a pistol and required several staples, the complaint said.

The Redwood County Sheriff's Department was called at 2:08 a.m. Sunday to a residence in Swedes Forest Township northeast of Belview after receiving reports that shots had been fired, according to the complaint.

The residence's tenant told deputies that Kramer had been arguing with a man near the garage, and the argument continued down the driveway, according to the complaint. During the argument, Kramer was shot in the foot, the complaint said. The suspect left the scene, the complaint said.

A deputy found two spent cartridge casing on the driveway, according to the complaint.

Based on the interviews, Deputy Randy Hanson identified the suspect as Morales, the complaint said. Morales was apprehended a short time later and admitted that he had fired his .40 caliber handgun at the rural Belview residence, according to the complaint.

He said the firearm was at his residence in Sacred Heart, and he allowed officers to enter his residence and take it, according to the complaint.

A gunshot residue test was performed on the gun, which came back positive for the presence of gunpowder, the complaint said.

Morales admitted that he had fired the gun during an altercation, but said he did not intend to injure anyone, according to the complaint. He said he was being attacked and had fired the gun at the crowd to hold back his attackers, the complaint said.

The maximum penalty for first-degree assault is 20 years imprisonment, a $30,000 fine or both. For second-degree assault, the maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment, $14,000 or both.

Reckless discharge of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.

Belview is located 15 miles northwest of Redwood Falls.

-- Reporter Carolyn Lange contributed to this report.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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