Minnesota homeowner arrested after shooting dead a burglary suspect fleeing from his home
MADELIA, Minn.--A homeowner in southern Minnesota was charged Monday with second-degree manslaughter after he allegedly shot and killed one of three teenagers who had been "casing" his home for a burglary, according a criminal complaint.
MADELIA, Minn.-A homeowner in southern Minnesota was charged Monday with second-degree manslaughter after he allegedly shot and killed one of three teenagers who had been "casing" his home for a burglary, according a criminal complaint.
The complaint also charged David Allen Pettersen, 64, of Madelia, with a felony charge of dangerous discharge of a firearm in the incident that started at about 7 a.m. Saturday.
The complaint accused Pettersen of negligently firing a .45 caliber handgun three times from about 10 feet away from Nicolas Thomas Embertson, 19, while Embertson was fleeing Pettersen's home in a car with two other young men, Kyle Thomas Nason, 18, and Cornelius Ayers Jr., 18.
Embertson, of Madelia, was struck by one of the shots and died later at the hospital, according to police.
According to the complaint, Nason later told police that he, Embertson and Ayers went to Pettersen's house on the 32500 block of 850th Avenue in rural Madelia to "case" it for a future burglary. The complaint said the three checked the doors at the house, but all were locked. Embertson and Ayers then boosted Nason up onto the deck, where he was confronted by Pettersen, the complaint said.
Pettersen later told police he was in bed when he heard someone attempting to open a door, the complaint said. He looked out of a window of his bedroom and saw somebody walk by, the complaint said. Pettersen opened the door and confronted Nason, who then jumped off the deck, the complaint said.
Nason fell about 10 feet and broke his ankle, according to the complaint. Pettersen said from his kitchen window he saw Nason crawling away toward a car parked near a detached garage, the complaint said. Pettersen said he went into his bedroom and got a .45 caliber handgun and left the house, the complaint said.
Nason said he, Ayers and Embertson got into their car and as Embertson was driving them away, they heard two loud bangs, the complaint said.
Embertson said, "I think I've been hit," and he lost consciousness and drove off the driveway, the complaint said. Prosecutors said Embertson was shot once in the pelvis.
Pettersen said he saw the car drive by in front of him and when he was about 10 feet away, he fired his gun two or three times, the complaint said. Pettersen said he was trying to shoot the front tire on the driver's side, the complaint said.
Pettersen said he went into his house and called 911, the complaint said. While he was on the phone, he saw that the car had veered off his driveway and remained there for eight or nine minutes, the complaint said.
After Emberston lost consciousness, Nason said he jumped into the driver's seat and drove out of the driveway.
The Watonwan County sheriff's department said it got a call at 7:10 a.m. Saturday about a possible burglary and shooting at a residence. Pettersen reported to dispatchers that he had fired his gun at a grey vehicle that was leaving his property after an attempted burglary, the complaint said.
Sgt. Barry Gulden of the Watonwan County sheriff's office found the car about two miles north of Pettersen's house, parked on the shoulder of the road, the complaint said. Inside were Nason with a broken ankle, Ayers, who was uninjured, and Embertson, who was unconscious. Embertson would later be pronounced dead at the hospital.
No charges have been filed against Nason, of Sleepy Eye, Minn., and Ayers, of Madelia, but the case is still under investigation, according to Watonwan County Attorney Stephen Lindee.
"They were certainly in the wrong to begin with," Lindee said.
But once the three began to flee from Pettersen's home, "they were leaving, presenting no more risk to him," Lindee said. That made it negligent for Pettersen to shoot a gun at them, Lindee said.
Pettersen was released from jail Monday under a set of conditions including surrendering his firearms.
A woman who answered a phone at Pettersen's home and identified herself as his daughter said that an attorney told them they could not comment.
Madelia is about 20 miles west of Mankato.