Charges: Minnesota man stabbed roommate in the eyes, shot him 16 times

He faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted.
Publish date:
Derek Sweere

A west-central Minnesota man is facing a murder charge after being accused of stabbing his roommate in the eyes and shooting him 16 times. 

The brutal killing was reported around 10 p.m. March 30 on the 600 block of 1st Avenue in Perham. According to the criminal complaint, 40-year-old Derek J. Sweere claimed self-defense after killing his roommate, Brandon Snyder, who just before being stabbed and shot had texted his mother asking her to come get him because he feared Sweere. 

Sweere informed officers who arrived at that he had killed Snyder, admitting to stabbing him and shooting him 15 times. During an interview at the police station, Sweere said the dispute started after he saw that Snyder was holding his .22 caliber rifle. 

The complaint explains that they began fighting in a stairwell, with Sweere confessing to punching Snyder because he took his gun. Sweere said he used a folding knife and stabbed him in both eyes, at which point Snyder quit fighting. 

Sweere then grabbed his rifle and shot Snyder 15 times, then shot him once more with a .270 caliber rifle that he got from his bedroom. 

Sweere told investigators that before calling the Perham Police Department, he first turned all the lights on in the house and "cleaned up the kitchen of clutter." 

According to the charging document, Sweere denied using drugs or prescription medications, but did say he "had a few beers and some brandy" the night of the killing. 

Sweere has been charged in Otter Tail county District Court with one count of second-degree murder and one count of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition with a previous criminal record for a violent crime. 

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