National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre sparked some spirited reactions when he stated, in the wake of the Newtown shootings, that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. Well, as MPR News reported last month, it’s hard to find statistics to quantify how many times Minnesotans use firearms to defend themselves, from bad guys – armed or not. And Minneapolis police officials say shootings in self defense in the city are rare.
According to a complaint filed recently in Hennepin County District Court, a gun owner may have saved his daughter from harm by shooting her ex-boyfriend. The charges say the woman, who’s identified in the complaint only by her initials, P.A.M., had just broken off a relationship with Chase Daymonejeffrey Dent-Wells, 34. Early in the morning on Feb. 3, Dent-Wells, who allegedly was sending threatening text messages to P.A.M. after the break-up, traveled to her home in Brooklyn Park.
According to the complaint, Dent-Wells knocked on a window and asked P.A.M. to open the door. P.A.M. woke her father, identified in the complaint only by his initials, A.M., who came downstairs carrying a .22 caliber pistol. A.M. allegedly fired two warning shots to scare away Dent-Wells. But instead of leaving, Dent-Wells allegedly pulled a 9mm handgun from his waistband and pointed it at his ex-girlfriend’s father. The man fired at Dent-Wells, wounding him in the head.
Police officials say they were aware of “many prior instances of reported domestic abuse involving Dent-Wells assaulting P.A.M.”
Because Dent-Wells has prior criminal convictions, he is legally prohibited from possessing a gun. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged him with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm and with assault in the second degree.
It’s not known whether the woman’s father will face any charges. A call to the Brooklyn Park Police Department has not yet been returned.