Documents for attempted murder charges reveal details of Crookston, Minn., shootout with officers
CROOKSTON -- A day after nine law enforcement officers exchanged shots with a Crookston area man, leaving three hit by gunfire, the suspect faces attempted murder charges that could put him behind bars for 80 years, with the possibility of more c...
CROOKSTON - A day after nine law enforcement officers exchanged shots with a Crookston area man, leaving three hit by gunfire, the suspect faces attempted murder charges that could put him behind bars for 80 years, with the possibility of more charges in the coming weeks.
Michael Jon Perry, 23, is accused of firing on law enforcement officials in an intense shootout at a farm south of town.
Four Polk County sheriff’s deputies arrived at a home on Perry Farms, just south of Crookston, in the middle of the day Thursday in response to an emergency call that an intoxicated man was shooting a gun, according to the criminal complaint prepared Friday.
The complaint details the incident in which officers exchanged fire with a gunman at the home.
As the deputies were making their way to the farmhouse, the caller told the 911 operator that Perry, his brother, was threatening to open fire on any officer that arrived at the home.
Upon pulling up to the two-story, white home and leaving his car, Deputy Justin Swang asked the caller, who was standing outside the home, “Where is he?”
Then someone opened fire.
Bullets struck the ground around the deputies, and the four took cover, retreating behind a shop and inside the garage attached to it.
The two deputies inside the garage - Brian Lundeen and Nathan Rasch - peered through a window in the garage toward the house’s second story. They saw someone breaking one of the second-floor windows and screen, before shots were fired through the garage window directly at them.
One of the bullets hit Lundeen in the back, but he was uninjured because of the bullet-resistant vest he was wearing. Another bullet grazed Rasch’s vest.
The shooting continued off and on, and more officers flocked to the scene. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that a total of nine officers fired their weapons during the incident.
The complaint says that shortly after the two deputies were hit, the shooter tried to flee the house in a gold Ford pickup. As the truck sped toward Lundeen and then past him, he fired shots at the truck. But Perry, who had been shot, did not go far before he stopped, got out of the truck and surrendered to deputies.
Court documents do not specify where Perry was shot.
Perry was taken to Riverview Hospital in Crookston where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries before he was booked into the jail in Crookston late Thursday.
Law enforcement officials remained at Perry Farms long after the shootout was over. Multiple agencies were on the scene as late as 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening, including officials from Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Crookston Police Department, East Grand Forks Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the BCA.
Law enforcement blocked the dirt road leading to the crime scene Thursday afternoon and evening while they conducted interviews and processed the crime scene.
Officers searched the truck and found bullets and a .22 caliber rifle with a scope. In a search of the house’s second floor, they also found a shotgun lying on a couch pushed against the window and empty .22 shell casings.
First court hearing
Perry appeared before a judge Friday afternoon on four felony charges. He is charged in state district court in Crookston with four counts of attempt to murder a peace officer. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
He said he plans on hiring a private attorney.
During court proceedings, Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth said investigations have only just begun. He said that the state may also file manufacturing methamphetamine charges against Perry in the coming weeks.
Perry has no criminal record in North Dakota, but has been convicted of driving while intoxicated and having an open container in Minnesota.
Widseth said in court Friday that though those convictions were relatively minor and though Perry had not missed any court hearings in those cases, he believed Perry was a flight risk.
“I think the charges speak for themselves,” he said.
According to newspaper reports, a Michael Perry graduated from Crookston High School in 2009 and was named to the president’s list at Northland Community and Technical College in 2011 for maintaining a GPA above 3.75.
The judge set bond at $1 million in cash with no conditions. Perry also has the choice of posting $200,000 cash with conditions or $1 million bond with conditions.
Perry is schedule to next appear in court on Sept. 22 at 9 a.m.