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Police Arrest Suspect In Wis. Photo Store Killings

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP/WCCO) — Police have arrested a Minnesota man in the shooting deaths of a father and son in their La Crosse photography store last month.

La Crosse Police Chief Ronald Tischer says 39-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota, Minn., was arrested Wednesday near his home.

“I don’t want to use the word excited, but I will use the word relieved because it’s a relief knowing that somebody like this is not still on the loose, because he would come into any of our businesses, or anywhere for that matter,” said friend Ted Withey.

Online court records say Lepsch is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. A defense attorney is not listed.

Fifty-six-year-old store owner Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son A.J. Petras were found shot to death Sept. 15 inside May’s Photo in downtown La Crosse.

Lepsch has a criminal history that dates back to 2003 when he pleaded no contest to stealing more than $50,000 worth of tools and electronics from an Ace Hardware store. He was sentenced to one-year in jail for that crime.

Lepsch is in the Winona County Jail in Minnesota. Police plan to release more information at a news conference Thursday.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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