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Police: Man Shoots Ex-Wife, Kills Himself In Pine County

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – A woman is in serious condition at a hospital and a man is dead after a double shooting in Pine County Wednesday night, authorities said.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting at about 9:16 p.m. Wednesday on the 29000 block of Sunny Hill Road in rural Pine County. The person who called police said she got a text message from Dawn Christen at the residence saying she had been shot by her ex-husband, 55-year-old Daniel Shilts, and he was still at the home.

When authorities arrived, they tried to make contact with Christen but weren’t able to. They saw Shilts exiting the house and standing on the deck. He refused verbal commands to step away from the house, went back inside and a standoff ensued.

Blackwell said SWAT team members busted into the house with a flash-bang device to rescue Christen.

“We didn’t know if he (Shilts) was in there or not,” the chief deputy said. The victim was removed and rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth where she was in serious condition.

Tactical officers searched the house and found the suspect in the living room where he was holding a pistol to his head, sheriff’s officials said.

For the next two hours sheriff’s negotiators tried to convince the man to surrender. Blackwell said negotiators, protected tactical shields, were about 10 feet from the suspect who eventually pulled the trigger and ended his life.

Blackwell said Christen, 55, had visited the sheriff’s department several weeks ago to inquire about a restraining order.

“Her ex would show up at the house, bang on the door, bang on the windows” and threaten her, Blackwell said. She was in the process of getting legal help, he said.

The initial investigation shows that Shilts had broken in to Christen’s home through the rear door and waited for her to return home. When she did return, Shilts confronted her and shot her in the chest, police said. Christen then ran to the bathroom and sent the text message to the person who reported the shooting.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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