Suspect in shooting spree faces 3 felonies

NEW ULM – An 18-year-old Sleepy Eye man faces three felony counts following a weekend BB gun shooting spree involving 25 vandalism complaints of extensive damage to vehicle windows in New Ulm.

Damage to vehicles was estimated at more than $5,000 by authorities.

Jaden M. Krebs, 519 1st Ave. N., Sleepy Eye, was charged Monday with felony first-degree damage to property, dangerous weapons-reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality and dangerous weapons-furnishing to minors under 18 in Brown County District Court.

According to a Statement of Probable Cause, a New Ulm Police senior investigator reviewed reports and learned of the vandalism complaints called into police on Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27. The reports detailed how the suspect or suspects shot CO2 BB guns at vehicle windows.

Police talked to a tipster Sunday afternoon who said Krebs and another person admitted that they were shooting windows in New Ulm after buying the BB guns Friday night at Walmart in New Ulm. The person said the suspects also bought a flare gun and that Krebs drove a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee to Walmart.

The investigator called Walmart and requested information for the persons who purchased a BB gun and flare gun on Friday. The investigator was given a copy of a receipt showing the purchase of a CO2 pistol, Alert Kit flare gun with 12-gauge flares and 4,800 BBs.

Still photographs showed the suspects getting out of a silver Jeep Cherokee. The thinner suspect wore glasses and a white stocking cap. The heavier suspect wore a brown Under Armor hooded sweatshirt, had brown, medium length hair and did not wear a cap.

The investigator had Brown County Law Enforcement Center dispatch pull the driver’s license photograph of Krebs, believed to match the thinner suspect in the photographs.

The investigator learned from dispatch that Krebs had been stopped by law enforcement driving a 2006 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee in New Ulm on Sunday.

The investigator authored a search warrant and supporting affidavit, signed by a judge, for Krebs, his vehicle and his current address, 519 1st Ave. North, Sleepy Eye.

Krebs was arrested and transported to the Sleepy Eye Police Department where the investigator interviewed him.

Krebs agreed to talk with the investigator, admitting he and two other juveniles drove around New Ulm and shot out car windows using C02 style BB guns after going to Walmart Friday night and buying the BB gun, a flare gun, two 2,400-count packs of BBs and some 12-gauge flares and fishing items.

Krebs said he and a juvenile picked up a third juvenile and a juvenile girl at Minnecon Park in New Ulm.

Krebs said he shot out the first window by accident. The juvenile girl then got out of the car and had nothing to do with the shooting, Krebs told the investigator.

Krebs and one of the juveniles than drove around New Ulm and shot out numerous car windows. The second juvenile reloaded BB guns from the back seat, but did not shoot, the complaint states.

Krebs said he threw both CO2 BB guns into the Minnesota River on Saturday because he believed he would get caught with the guns if he kept them.

The investigator talked with the New Ulm Body Shop which was working on three of the damaged vehicles. The shop advised that side window repair would cost $200 per window and windshields $400 each to replace. The investigator believed the damage amount would well exceed $5,000.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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