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60-year-old in ND shootout drove 17 miles with gunshot wounds, officials say

By April Baumgarten / The Forum

STANTON, N.D. - A 60-year-old man shot in his western North Dakota home returned fire and then drove about 17 miles despite having gunshot wounds, authorities said.

Jeffrey Gegelman was at home Sunday in Golden Valley when three young men “began to beat on the door, and entered his residence and started shooting,” Mercer County Sheriff’s Department Detective James Wenning said in an affidavit released Wednesday.

Brett Knudson, 20, of Golden Valley, was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and criminal trespassing. Both are felonies.

After the shooting, Gegelman drove to Beulah, where he was stopped by a Beulah police officer at about 4:15 p.m. on Highway 49, according to the document.

Gegelman was honking and almost rear-ended the patrol car. When the police officer approached his vehicle, he yelled at her, “They shot me. Those kids shot me twice.”

Gegelman said he started shooting back and thought he shot the alleged shooter, according to the document. Gegelman got the license plate off a small gray car and wrote it on a newspaper, which was later found by law enforcement at his home. Officers also located two bullet holes and three bullet fragments on the floor of the bathroom.

Gegelman was transported to Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen.

A deputy was advised by Wenning to drive west on Highway 200 toward Golden Valley, where they pulled over Knudson in the gray vehicle, according to the affidavit. Knudson told the deputy he had been shot. No one else was in the car. Officers found a knife in the vehicle.

Knudson also was transported to Sakakawea Medical Center.

Officers got a search warrant for Knudson’s home, where they found .38-caliber bullet casings and cartridges in the vehicle. They also found a .38-caliber revolver, five matching bullets, and a Ruger Mark 2 rifle with a live round in the chamber.

Knudson also was charged with driving while his license was suspended and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia; the latter charge stemmed from smoking devices with marijuana residue found in his home. He was being held at the Mercer County Jail on $500,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing was not set as of Wednesday.

Knudson pleaded guilty to a simple assault charge last May.

Gegelman was convicted of disorderly conduct in 1999 in Mercer County.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately return a call Wednesday. Gegelman also did not return multiple messages.

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