A Coon Rapids man has been arrested after a shooting in Mapleton last month that authorities say was sparked by a dispute over missing gold teeth.
Rashone Dionte Thurman, 34, is charged in Blue Earth County District Court with first- and second-degree assault, as well as two counts related to criminal weapons possession. Prosecutors allege he pulled the trigger in a Dec. 19 shooting on the 100 block of 4th Avenue that left one person, a 50-year-old man, seriously injured.
But Thurman, according to the charges, told investigators the man he shot was upset about a missing gold grill, and had blocked Thurman from trying to leave the apartment. Thurman told the victim he was armed and not to come any closer, and only fired shots when the victim came toward him, charges state.
Thurman was charged on Jan. 6, and his attorney filed a motion that day to dismiss the charges, according to court documents. An initial court appearance is set for Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Here's what the charges allege happened:
Two witnesses — an adult woman and a juvenile woman — said the victim had come over to the apartment the night prior and stayed until the morning. Around 10 a.m., Thurman came over and the adult woman told investigators she purchased some marijuana from him.
While Thurman was still there, the victim came out of the bedroom. He told police he'd left a gold grill for his bottom teeth on the floor next to the bed, and that in the morning it was missing so he'd started to search for it in the apartment.
Thurman, the victim and the two witnesses give slightly differing accounts on what happened next.
The victim describes asking everyone there, including Thurman (whom he did not know) to help find the gold grill, to which Thurman said he wanted to leave. The victim said he turned, then heard a "pow" and realized he'd been shot.
Thurman, however, told authorities the victim was "upset and aggressive," pacing back and forth after having locked the door and declaring nobody could leave until his grill had been located. Thurman announced he was armed and would defend himself. The victim then came at Thurman, they got into a scuffle, and Thurman pushed the man off before firing shots.
The juvenile witness (who had never met the victim or Thurman) told investigators there had been an argument between the two men, during which the victim was pacing in front of the apartment door and refusing to let Thurman leave. Thurman said he'd defend himself if threatened, then pulled out a gun and warned the victim not to come any closer. The victim "advanced" on Thurman, who then fired three shots, the witness told authorities.
All three say Thurman fled the scene immediately after. He told investigators he didn't call police because he was scared.
Two of the counts Thurman faces are tied to previous criminal convictions, which prohibit him from having a firearm or ammunition, according to the complaint.