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Son on 911 call after killings of dad, brother: 'I just lost it'

Christopher Besser

By Katie Kather / Pioneer Press

St. MICHAEL, Minn.—A St. Michael man was charged Tuesday in Wright County in connection with the deaths of his brother and his father, a police officer.

Christopher Besser, 21, is charged with two counts of intentional second-degree murder.

Todd Besser, 49, had finished his shift as an Elk River officer Saturday night when he went to the house in St. Michael where his three adult sons—including Christopher Besser—lived, authorities said.

Christopher Besser shot his father after an argument, according to charges, then shot his brother Blake Besser, 27.

According to the criminal complaint:

Christopher Besser took a rifle from the gun cabinet and shot his father in the back of the head. He died instantly.

Besser told investigators that his father expected things of him and that he snapped.

After shooting his father, Besser sat at the kitchen table with the rifle between his legs. He said he was worried about witnesses, so he shot his brother.

Blake Besser called 911 just after 7 p.m. but died before authorities arrived.

Christopher Besser wiped down the gun, returned it to the gun cabinet and drove to a Kwik Stop in Monticello. He called 911 at 7:45 p.m. from there and said he wanted to turn himself in.

"I just lost it," Besser told a 911 dispatcher.

Todd Besser's wife, Gwen Besser, sat in the courtroom with about a dozen other family members as Christopher Besser was led in. Afterward, she told the news media, "All I am asking for is prayer, healing, grace and forgiveness."

Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly said he hopes to convene a grand jury in early June to pursue premeditated murder charges.

Bail for Besser was set at $2 million with some conditions, including electronic home monitoring and $5 million without conditions.

Visitation for Todd and Blake Besser will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Elk River High School, followed immediately by a funeral in the school gym.