Chisholm shooting: Mayor arrived minutes before shooting
Saturday started out as one sweet day in Chisholm, Mayor Michael Jugovich said.
The temperature was pushing 50 degrees, families and friends were enjoying slapping around racquet balls with hockey sticks and golf clubs in the annual Chilly Open golf tournament on Longyear Lake.
Jugovich got lucky and won a raffle earning him a basket filled with chips, candy and gum. People kept reaching in the basket taking the mayor's goodies so he decided to run it home to his kids.
He figured he was gone about 25 minutes before returning to Jim's Sports Club Bar & Grill about 9:45 p.m. Within two minutes he heard shots ring out. "It was utter chaos," he said. "People were trying to get out, running over each other, losing shoes. I don't blame them."
When the shooting ended, Edward John Walberg, 40, was shot to death in the chair Jugovich had been sitting in earlier in the evening. Cale Steven Nelson, 29, was critically wounded after being shot in the stomach and Larry Vernon Elj, 38, was shot in the shoulder.
The alleged shooter, Jason Musburger, 47, a former Chisholm police officer, was subdued by patrons, including Ryan Simonson, who smashed a chair over Musburger's head.
"It was heroic," Jugovich said of Simonson's actions. "If that didn't happen, there was another gun and more people could have been injured or killed. He was very courageous."
Andy Skoogman, director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said the suspect had two guns -- a revolver that he fired five shots with and a semi-automatic handgun that he didn't fire.
Skoogman said agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Monday were still piecing together what happened and didn't know exactly what was said or what led to the shooting. He said more than 30 witnesses had been interviewed of the more than 100 that had been in the Iron Range establishment.
"We don't know yet if anything was said, or what was done; we just don't have a clear picture yet," Skoogman said.
Musburger has been interviewed by the BCA twice and has provided a statement, Skoogman said.
All the victims were known to the mayor, as was the alleged shooter. He called Walberg a sociable, fun-loving, wonderful man.
"You'd be hard-pressed to get anybody to say anything but good things about Ed Walberg," Jugovich said.
"He was truly a well-liked
and respected man in the
St. Louis County Attorney Melanie Ford said her office was waiting Monday to receive the police reports, and charges wouldn't be filed until Wednesday. The suspect was released from a Hibbing hospital after being treated for a head injury and is being held in the St. Louis County Jail in Hibbing, Undersheriff Dave Phillips said.
Musburger reportedly worked as a Chisholm police officer from 1983-89. He voluntarily left the force, Jugovich said, to take a job with the city's water department, where he was a meter reader.
"He was a model employee. He was a very good employee for the city," the mayor said.
According to court records, Musburger and his ex-wife, Janice, were divorced on April 16. Janice Musburger had petitioned the court for an order of protection from her husband on Dec. 15, 2008. According to court records, the petition was dismissed on Jan. 14, 2009. The former couple are the parents of three school-aged children.
"I've had so many good things happen since I've been mayor of Chisholm, and this is without a doubt the worst," Jugovich said. "It's heart-wrenching. You lose Ed, Cale is fighting for his life and Larry gets shot. The families are suffering. They're going through hell. I want everyone to know this is not what Chisholm is about. We are close-knit. This community will make it through this and we'll do it together."
Nelson remained listed in critical condition on Monday in St. Mary's Medical Center.