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Gunshots fired in W’bago

By Staff | Dec 6, 2010

Michael Ray Whitlow

Two people were awakened by the sounds of gunshots and screaming inside their Winnebago residence during the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 27.

Around 2:30 a.m., police officer Tim Dirkes responded to a call that 53-year-old Michael Ray Whitlow was intoxicated, threatening to kill people and shooting a gun inside a residence on East Cleveland Avenue.

An occupant of the home told authorities he was sleeping when he heard two gunshots and Whitlow was screaming and hollering.

When officers went upstairs they found a gun on the floor outside of Whitlow’s bedroom and had to kick in a locked door to enter.

The complaint says Whitlow appeared to be sleeping.

When he failed to cooperate with officers and began kicking at them, they used a taser.

Authorities then handcuffed and transported Whitlow to the Faribault County Jail.

He has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, terroristic threats, discharge of a dangerous weapon within a municipality and domestic assault.

Whitlow made his first court appearance on Monday in Faribault County District Court.

Bail was set $56,000 without conditions or $28,000 with conditions.

If Whitlow posts bail, Judge Douglas Richards ordered the following release conditions:

• abstain from the use of alcohol, mood-altering drugs or drugs not prescribed by a physician;

• may not enter an establishment that serves liquor;

• must submit to random drug testing;

• is excluded from the Winnebago residence;

• and must remain in contact with his attorney and notify court officials of any change in address.

Richards also issued a domestic abuse no contact order (DANCO).

According to the complaint, authorities saw two gunshot holes, an empty shell casing from a .22 rifle and an unloaded rifle in Whitlow’s bedroom.

Officers also found a rifle loaded with six shells, with one in the chamber, outside the bedroom.

A female at the residence told authorities that Whitlow came home around 1:30 a.m. and grumbled, “that people were going to be sorry for messing with his stuff.”

The complaint says another female resident heard Whitlow say he was going to slash tires and shoot them. She says about a year ago he pointed a .22 rifle at her.

No one was injured during the incident.

The second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine, while terroristic threats is five years and a $10,000 fine, and discharge of a firearm within a municipality is not more than two years and a $5,000 fine.

The maximum sentence for domestic assault is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.