WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 22, 2011, 08:02 PM

More Details in Red Lake County Shooting Incident

RURAL RED LAKE COUNTY, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A criminal complaint provides more details in a shooting incident that happened Monday evening at a home in rural Red Lake County.

By: Rick Abbott, WDAZ

RURAL RED LAKE COUNTY, MN (WDAZ-TV) - A criminal complaint provides more details in a shooting incident that happened Monday evening at a home in rural Red Lake County.

Matthew Tongen, 21, of Red Lake Falls, allegedly threatened his brother, his brother's girlfriend and her ten-year-old daughter with a large rifle and said he would kill them all, according to the complaint.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges in district court in Crookston on Wednesday.

The incident started around 9 p.m. Monday night after a dispute between Tongen and his brother about Tongen's dog. His brother had taken the dog across the Black River as he set up deer stands for bow hunting.

Tongen apparently thought that his brother was going to take his dog. He jumped into the river and confronted his brother in the woods, according to the complaint.

A witness told authorities that Tongen had been drinking Four Loco, a mixture of alcohol and energy drink.

Tongen then went into the home, owned by his grandmother, near Huot Park in Louisville township to change his clothes. His brother also came to the home and when Tongen saw him, he ran to his bedroom.

According to the complaint, the brother knew Tongen kept a black SKS-type rifle in the room. The brother then ran towards the north side of the home, where his girlfriend and her daughter were and told them to start running.

The three ran west and heard two shots fired behind them. According to witnesses, Tongen had fired the shots in the air. Tongen was walking on the road in front of the house, yelling that they better be good to him among other things.

As three people Tongen threatened hid in the grass, they called the Red Lake County Sheriff's Office to report that Tongen was holding people hostage.

The woman talked to authorities in a whisper and said that Tongen was going to kill everyone at the home.

While the three were hiding, Tongen allegedly fired three more shots from the rifle.

Tongen then fled the home in a red Pontiac Sunfire.

After deputies arrived at the home, they escorted the three people Tongen threatened to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sunfire was located a short time later at an apartment complex in Red Lake Falls.

Tongen allegedly was carrying a large, pine-colored wood box when he entered an apartment occupied by two people he knew. Tongen said he needed to store the box in the apartment for a while and when asked what was in it, he told the person to "never mind."

Deputies contacted one of the apartment's occupants on the phone and asked if Tongen would talk and he said "no," according to the complaint.

The deputy asked Tongen to come downstairs and speak with him. At first, Tongen declined, but eventually came downstairs with empty hands.

He was arrested, read his rights, and gave a deputy permission to search his vehicle for weapons. Tongen had two pocket knives on him when he was arrested. He was given a breathylizer test and blew a .16. The legal limit in Minnesota is .08.

Deputies found the rifle inside of the apartment, hidden in the box underneath a bed. They also found two scopes, a banana clip, stabilizer legs for the rifle and 33 rounds of ammunition.

Tongen is charged with three counts of 2nd-degree assault, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In 2008, Tongen was convicted of burglary, theft of property and possession of a short-barrel shotgun.