CLOQUET, MINN. - A Minneapolis man was arrested on suspicion of shooting another man Friday morning during a funeral on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
The 28-year-old suspect was booked into the Carlton County jail on second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and other pending charges in the incident that sent a school and tribal offices into lockdown for more than two hours.
The condition of the victim, a 45-year-old man also from Minneapolis, was unknown, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, interim police chief Derek Randall said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
The incident happened at the Head Start building’s gymnasium, where mourners had gathered for a funeral that was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Several people in attendance intervened and helped restrain the suspect until law enforcement took him into custody, Randall said.
Authorities didn’t yet know the motive for the shooting, but Randall said they believe it was an isolated incident.
“We don’t believe there are any other threats to our community at this time,” he said.
The suspect has been convicted of three felony assaults dating back to 2010, meaning he is being held pending an additional felony charge because Minnesota law bans anyone convicted of a violent crime from possessing a firearm.
The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged.
Officers first responded to reports of a shooting at the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School, but when they arrived, they learned it was at the nearby Head Start building.
There were no children in the Head Start building at the time, Randall said.
School was not in session because of the Minnesota Educator Academy (MEA) break, although some students were at the school for another event.
The preliminary investigation shows a single shot was fired and one person was struck, authorities said. Authorities are still trying to determine the relationship between the two men. Officers recovered a firearm at the scene and are continuing to interview the numerous witnesses as well as review video surveillance.
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Kevin Dupuis Sr. said mental health services were being offered to witnesses of the shooting. Community members made alternate plans for the funeral before sundown, keeping with cultural traditions.
Rita Aspinwall, communications director for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, said earlier Friday that “these kinds of situations happen everywhere, but it really hurts when it happens in your own community.”
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