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National Guard member charged in State Park shooting


It was a National Guard member who shot a man twice in the head at Myre-Big Island State Park and then called police to tell them what he did last week.

According to the criminal complaint, 26-year-old David Easter has been charged with second-degree murder. He could face up to 40 years in prison.

When police arrived at the park near Albert Lea in Freeborn County, Easter was sitting in his car with his wife – who is also in the National Guard – and their baby, said the complaint.

The Star Tribune reported that Easter turned over a .45-caliber pistol to police and surrendered peacefully.

Easter's defense attorney said that he acted in self-defense because the "victim was acting erratically" and he honestly believed that his family was in danger, according to the Pioneer Press. Easter has also said that the man came at him with a baseball bat, but there is not enough supporting evidence to prove this, prosecutors say.

Easter's wife said that she could hear the two men exchanging words outside of the car, but not everything that they were saying. She did hear the victim tell her husband to stop shining his light on him, according to the criminal complaint. She also said that she heard the two gunshots.

Sheriff Kurt Freitag told Inforum that it's unclear how the two share a relationship, but investigators are "convinced there has to be one."

Not only did the victim's license plates come from the same state as Easter's gun permit – Nebraska – but the two once lived in Omaha, reported the Star Tribune.

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