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Man Charged In Granite Falls Double Murder

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man arrested in connection with the double homicide in Granite Falls, Minn., has now been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

According to the charges, Andrew Joseph Dikken, 28, is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 26-year-old Kara Ann Monson, and her boyfriend Christopher Allen Panitzke, 28, on Sept. 2.

Monson died at the scene. Panitzke was transported to the Granite Falls Hospital, then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where died on Sept. 8.

Yellow Medicine County Sheriff Bill Flaten called the killings “cold blooded.”

Authorities say officers were called to the scene around 3:28 a.m. on Sept. 2 on a report of a shooting on the 1100 block of Prentice Street. Dispatch had received a 911 call from a man, later identified as Panitzke, who said he and his girlfriend had been shot.

When officers arrived on scene, they found Panitzke lying on the floor with a towel wrapped around his arm. There was blood surrounding him but he was conscious at the time.

Panitzke told police he and Monson were sleeping in bed when someone entered the house and started shooting at them. They both suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

When police asked him who shot them, he said “Andy” Dikken. Panitzke then told police that Monson was still in the bedroom.

An officer went to check on Monson and found she was already dead.

At the hospital, Panitzke told officers that Dikken turned the lights on, fired multiple shots and then did not appear to be in any hurry to leave. Panitzke said he could hear Dikken walking around the house.

Investigators learned that Dikken was possibly driving a brown 1996 GMC pickup truck with a topper. A truck matching that description was later found in Redwood County.

Dikken was also seen on video camera in Casey’s Convenience Store several minutes after the initial 911 call was placed. Casey’s is about three blocks from the residence where the shooting took place.

Officials secured the pickup truck and later recovered a gun case that matched the description of the stolen one.

Police interviewed a person related to Dikken who said a gun they owned had been stolen from their house without permission. The caliber of the gun matched caliber of the shell casings and the bullets of the one used in the shooting.

They also discovered text messages from Dikken to Monson within hours of the shooting. Investigators say a threatening message was sent to one of Monson’s family members that indicated that Dikken was threatening Monson’s life.

Dikken was missing for more than two weeks after Monson and Panitzke were shot. Authorities issued a warrant for his arrest on Sept. 11. The families of the victims suffered many sleepless nights knowing the person who shot their loved ones was still on the loose.

“It’s a family’s worst nightmare,” said Eric Monson, Kara’s brother.

He added Wednesday that Dikken’s actions have rendered him “inconsequential” to the Monson family.

“We’re prepared,” he said, speaking of the court process. “We’re prepared to carry this out for Kara.”

Patrice Monson, Kara Monson’s mother, said her daughter was “a very loving person who touched many peoples’ lives.” It’s her wish that justice is served, so that the families — and Kara’s 4-year-old daughter — can grieve in peace.

Dikken is being held at the Yellow Medicine County Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 19.

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