By Kim Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 40-year-old Eckles Township, Minn. man is in jail accused of shooting a 17-year-old girl multiple times at her home Monday evening, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

At around 10 p.m., the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the girl, reporting that she was shot several times when she was standing on the deck of her home, located on the 6300 block of Palomino Drive NW in Eckles Township.

Sheriff Phil Hodapp says the girl crawled from the deck to get inside to call for help.

“The victim herself was able to describe what had happened and talk to us and tell us that she’d simply been shot when she stepped out of her house to check on her dogs,” Hodapp said.

EMS found her inside the door and immediately began first aid. She was then taken to Bemidji Sanford Hospital where she was stabilized and then taken to Duluth for further care.

The sheriff’s office says they were able to identify the suspect quickly because neighbors saw him run through the yard immediately after the shooting.

Chad Eric Pickering lives four homes down from the victim. Sheriff’s deputies say they found him in his home with a pistol they believe was used. A trespassing dispute may have led to the shooting.

“She had notified the neighbor that she didn’t want him driving his lawnmower on the yard,” Hodapp said.

As authorities continue to piece together how a teen could be in the cross hairs of such violence, neighbors like Brianna Benson are feeling some sense of relief.

“She’s a nice girl, she’s always been very nice to me,” Benson said. “She’s going to pull through this.”

Pickering is in the Beltrami County Jail. The county attorney’s office could file formal charges Wednesday. Authorities said Pickering had been employed as a corrections worker with the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center from May 20 to June 9 of this year. He was a part-time non-secure worker in the detention unit.

The teen was flown to a hospital in Duluth where she is in stable condition. None of the three shots hit any vital organs.

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