At 7:40 pm on Friday, Willmar Police and CentraCare EMS responded to an address in the 1000 block of 4th St SW for a medical emergency. Upon arrival, they learned that a 41 year old male homeowner had been working in his garage and family witnessed him suddenly collapse. While EMT's and officers were providing medical care they found that he had a penetrating injury to his chest. The male was transported to Carris Hospital by ambulance where they continued resuscitation efforts, however the male was later pronounced deceased.
Officers investigating the scene located a bullet hole that had completely penetrated a garage wall traveling in the direction to where the homeowner was working. Evidence indicates that an errant bullet came from a location off of the homeowner's property, through the garage wall and struck him.
The deceased was transported to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office for a forensic autopsy. Additional investigative resources were provided by the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and MN BCA Crime Scene Team.
On the morning of January 16, 2021, the Willmar Police Department SWAT team served a high risk search warrant on a residence in the 1000 block of 3rd St SW as part of this investigation. No immediate arrests were made.
This case is being investigated as a homicide. At this point there is no evidence to indicate the homeowner was an intended target or victim. There is also no evidence to indicate an immediate safety concern to the general public.
Anyone who may have information regarding this case is asked to contact the Willmar Police Department at (320)235-2244. Tips can also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or anonymously at www.crimestoppersmn.org . Residents living in that area are asked to review home security camera footage and notify police of any suspicious behavior or audio / video in which any gunshots can be heard.
The identity of the homeowner is being withheld at this time pending notification of family.
The Willmar Police Department was assisted by CentraCare EMS, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Case reference # 21000675