Old West Re-Enactor Faces Federal Weapons Charge

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A mock Old West gun battle participant accused of wounding three South Dakota tourists by firing live ammunition instead of blanks is facing a federal weapons charge, a U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman said Wednesday.

Paul Doering, 49, of Summerset, made an initial appearance in a federal court in Fargo, N.D., Wednesday morning on a felon in possession of a firearm charge, said Mark Salter, a U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman. Doering did not enter a plea.

Salter said an indictment issued last week was sealed by the federal court.

Three tourists were hit during the June 17 reenactment staged by the Dakota Wild Bunch, who use blanks when they perform several times a week on a street in Hill City, a tourist town in South Dakota’s Black Hills.

Doering is ordered to appear in federal court in Rapid City on Aug. 11 for an arraignment, Salter said.

The bullets that evening shattered a leg bone of Carrol Knutson, 65, of Birchwood, Minn.; hit the forearm and elbow of John Ellis, 48, an optometrist from South Connellsville, Penn.; and caused minor injuries to Jose Pruneda, 53, of Alliance, Neb.

The sheriff’s office submitted its investigative reports to the Pennington County state’s attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office, said chief deputy state’s attorney Lara Roetzel.

Investigators have not made any comments on why the incident happened or said whether they think the shootings were accidental.

But Roetzel said her office doesn’t have any intention of filing state charges against Doering.

Investigators earlier this month found that Doering had served more than five years in Minnesota prisons on multiple felony convictions.

South Dakota law prohibits a person convicted of a felony in South Dakota or another state from possessing or having control of a firearm for 15 years.

Federal law prevents felons convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year in prison from possessing any firearm or ammunition unless the person has had their civil rights restored by the state where they were convicted.

Doering was imprisoned from April 1982 to January 1984 on two first-degree assault charges, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

He returned to prison on Dec. 14, 1990 to serve time for second-degree burglary but was convicted of escape less than two months later, which extended his stay. He was released in May 1992. In October 2001, he began serving another sentence for escape, which was extended by a Dec. 2001 escape conviction. He got out in May 2004, according to the department.

No phone listing could be found for Doering, and attorney information was not immediately available.

The shootouts sponsored by the Hill City Chamber of Commerce have since been suspended.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • rite wing stoop

    aint gunz gud? huck huck

    • Dale Gribble

      Laugh now, “comrade”. You won’t think its so funny when O’Bammy’s goon squad gestapo comes for you.

      • rite wing stoop

        dyuk dyuk aint dat guy smart he nos about stuff.

  • Dale Gribble

    Another example of the erosion of our sacred 2nd Amendment Rights! When will we stand up to the traitors in the Justice Department and White House?

    • kevin

      dale, lets get together for some lovin

  • Jake

    Sorry dribble, but at least SD takes the law seriously. If this had happened in MN, I doubt the charges would be as severe. This guy had no bidness being in possession of a firearm, period.

    • Dale Gribble

      Read the article, Jake. It us a Federal indictment. You remember the Feds, right? The bunch of freedom hating gun grabbers who do the bidding of O’Bammy and his UN masters!

      • u r stupid

        Uh Dale, the guy shot somebody.

        • Guns4ever

          It doesn’t count when your just messing around.

  • Dale Gribble

    Am accident, and it is being used by the left-wing PC media to whip up a frenzy of support for gun confiscation. When the UN troops roll down your street, there will be no way to resist. Get ready for the camps!

    • Freedom forever

      the UN’s blue helmets make good targets

  • kilgore

    Nice shootin’ Tex

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