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Capture of shooting suspect in Winsted causes concern

May 12, 2008

Suspect was thought to be traveling in opposite direction; shooting happened in a different county, local authorities say

By Stephen Wiblemo
Staff Writer

Charges were leveled against a shooting suspect who sparked a manhunt covering several counties May 1 and was later captured in Winsted cemetery.

Ryan Carl Lindeen, 44, was apprehended a few hundred feet from Winsted Elementary School. This prompted concern by citizens who wondered why area schools were not put on lockdown.

Local authorities, however, believed the suspect was traveling in the opposite direction. Because of this — and the fact that the shooting happened in a different county and was not a school-related incident — the decision was made not to put schools on lockdown.

“I understand the citizens’ concerns,” McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann said. “. . . I take the protection of our children very seriously . . . We do not put our schools into lockdown every time there is an incident, unless we believe there is a threat based on the information we have. Do we lock down every school in the county every time there is a situation that occurs 10 miles away, 15 miles away, 20 miles away? Where do we stop?”

Lester Prairie Police Chief Bob Carlson said in a statement that he was in contact with Lester Prairie Public Schools and Superintendent Joe Miller that day and “based on intelligence information from the Carver County Sheriff’s Office we did not feel our children were in serious danger.”

Lester Prairie Public Schools were put on heightened alert, but were not in a lockdown.

The only school district that did lockdown was Watertown.

According to Rehmann, the policies and procedures that are in place for local police and school districts to follow did not call for a lockdown in Winsted or Lester Prairie schools for this situation.

“School notification is done by the local police based on the procedures that are in place with the schools in their jurisdiction,” he said in a statement. “The school district policies are not universal and each school district has their own protocols as to why, when, how and under what circumstances they go into lockdown. Chief (Mike) Henrich and I have spoken and will be looking into this and speaking to our school administrators to get their input.”

Bad blood relations

Lindeen was arrested in Winsted May 1 while sleeping in a green Mustang he drove after fleeing the scene in Watertown Township, according to the official complaint filed by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office last Monday.

According to the complaint, authorities received a 911 call around 7:02 a.m. regarding a shooting that had taken place at 13615 Highway 25 in Watertown Township.

The complaint alleges that around 6:15 a.m., Tara Good and her husband, Wesley, were sleeping when Tara was awakened by their dogs barking. When she got up to let the dogs out, she was unexpectedly met by her uncle, Lindeen, who she had not seen for about three years.

Police believe that Lindeen broke into the home through the back garage door and was standing in the kitchen, where Tara found him holding a .22 caliber rifle.

She called out to her husband who woke up and came out to see the intruder. When Wesley asked Lindeen, “Do we have a problem?,” his response was, “We have a big problem.” At that point, Wesley went to get his handgun which was in a kitchen drawer, but was told not to by his wife.

The two victims allegedly asked Lindeen several times what he wanted and if he would leave, to which his responses were “We have a problem” and “We need to go outside.”

The complaint says that Wesley offered to step outside so his wife could stay inside. He walked out ahead of Lindeen, who followed him, but not before going back to the kitchen drawer and taking the handgun.

As soon as the two were outside, Wesley grabbed the barrel of the rifle and tried to wrestle it away from Lindeen. During their struggle, the two fell to the ground with Lindeen on the bottom. While Wesley tried to keep the barrel aimed away from his head, Lindeen was pushing the gun up and started firing off rounds.

At this point, Tara allegedly came outside to help her husband and get the gun away from Lindeen but was shot in the arm and ankle.

Lindeen fired the rifle until he had exhausted all of the ammunition in it, at which point he pulled Wesley’s handgun out of its holster. Although Wesley knew that the handgun was not loaded, he heard it “click one round” and realized that Lindeen had pulled the trigger.

With no more bullets in either gun, Wesley acted quickly, throwing Lindeen to the ground and running into the house with his wife. The two then locked the door and called 911.

Tara was later transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and treated and released. Wesley did not suffer any serious physical injuries.

Lindeen has been charged with five felonies in conjunction with the shooting. Those charges are being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of first degree burglary, and two counts of second degree assault.

The top charge carries with it a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, although prosecutors may seek a longer sentence according to a press release from the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.

Lindeen has a prior felony conviction in Minnesota for burglary in the first degree from July 2, 1984.

He is currently in custody in the Carver County Jail and bail has been set at $50,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

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