Skip to main content

Surveillance video helped investigators piece together how two people ended up with stab wounds while at a northern Minnesota bar earlier this week.

Aiden J. Deegan was charged in St. Louis County Thursday with second-degree assault and second-degree riot with a dangerous weapon in connection with the dust-up at Virginia's Sawmill Saloon early Wednesday. The 18-year-old was arrested at his apartment in the Iron Range city around 9:30 a.m. that same day, about nine hours after the incident.

The encounter left two people with stab wounds — one in the lower back, the other in the thigh — both of which were caused by Deegan, the charges state. They were taken to Virginia Regional Medical Center with the non life-threatening wounds.

When authorities arrived at the bar following a 911 call, they found "many drops and pools of blood in and around the bar area," according to the charges. They initially had a hard time piecing together what happened, however, because witnesses kept providing conflicting stories.

So authorities went to surveillance footage, which captured the lead-up to the incident from multiple angles.

According to the criminal complaint:

The videos show Deegan was with two acquaintances at the Sawmill Saloon, sitting at the bar around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Nearby, one victim sat with a friend. 

At one point, that first victim appeared to become "angry" and "pushed his way" toward Deegan's group. The victim and Deegan began fighting, but then victim one backed off — picking up a barstool but ultimately setting it down before retreating to the other end of the bar.

Deegan and one of his friends continued to go after the victim however, with the parties throwing punches. During the fight, Deegan took out a knife and stabbed the first victim in the back. He then pocketed the weapon and returned to the opposite end of the bar. 

The second stabbing victim was actually Deegan's acquaintance. Security footage from another angle showed Deegan had his knife out, and accidentally stabbed the man in the thigh with it. That friend had a gun in his waistband, which he took out and gave to the other friend that helped Deegan fight the first victim. They put the gun in a backpack and then all three left.

The charges say Deegan and his two acquaintances all took part in the fight.

Later that morning, officers went to Deegan's apartment and arrested him. They found shoes stained with what appeared to be dried blood, and after obtaining a search warrant recovered bloody clothing that matched what was seen on Deegan in the security camera footage, according to the criminal charges. They also found a folding knife in one of the bedrooms.

Deegan made his first court appearance Thursday. His next is set for April 18, according to court records.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Life Link

18 injured in two separate crashes involving teen drivers

The crashes happened Thursday in Ham Lake and North Branch Township.


Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.


Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Evacuations underway after explosion, fire on U of M campus

Evacuations are in effect on campus after an underground explosion and fire Thursday afternoon.

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.


Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.


sawmill saloon

Arrest made after stabbings at northern Minnesota bar

Two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Screen Shot 2021-09-11 at 7.42.42 AM

Charges: Woman fatally stabbed boyfriend, child's father

The man died from a single stab wound that struck an artery.

houston morris renville county jail booking photo march 2022 crop

Charges: Olivia man tried to stab girlfriend, hit her teen son instead

The 13-year-old was rushed to the hospital but died of his injuries.

peachu yates facebook irondale

Husband charged with murder in fatal stabbing of Champlin mother

An individual at the scene was screaming, "He killed her!" according to the charges.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons 2

MOA shooting: Charges filed against 18-year-old suspected gunman

Prosecutors say a lingering dispute between the shooter and victim sparked the incident.

Cindy Joy Elias

Investigators seek new tips in 1977 cold case killing of teen on Iron Range

The 45th anniversary of the Cindy Joy Elias' death is this week.

Susan B A Davis - Ramsey Co booking photo

Charges: Suspect stabbed stranger hours after murdering woman with same knife

DNA tests on the blade helped authorities connect the cases, the complaint says.