1 dead, 3 injured in Mankato shooting - KMSP-TV

1 dead, 3 injured in Mankato shooting

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One person is dead and three others were injured in an early morning shooting in Mankato that police called a chaotic scene.

"Very chaotic scene," Cmdr. Jeremy Clifton told Fox 9 News. "As officers arrived on scene, there was a call for a disturbance at the Kato Ballroom, audible gunshots heard by officers. Chaotic scene after with people running all directions."

Police were called to the Kato Entertainment Center at 1:53 a.m. and found four people had been shot. All were transported to the hospital, and one victim died. The other three were reportedly treated for non-life threatening injuries.

According to law enforcement, several people have been arrested and a handgun was recovered.




Spray paint at the scene where the gun was located.


Crime scene investigators with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation spent much of Easter Sunday combing the grounds of the Kato, searching for any remaining forensic evidence. Detectives paid particular interest to several vehicles parked and seemingly abandoned around the historic event center.

According to investigators, the gunman fled amid the frantic scramble after the shooting, taking off through an industrial corner of Mankato while still firing. Officers eventually caught him outside a resident's home nearby.

"It's kind of a straight shot through the parking lot from the ballroom, Chestnut Street," Louann, who lives in the home and asked to have her last name withheld, told Fox 9 News. "Suppose running like mad men, straight through the lot to here."

Louann said she heard a couple of voices outside at about 2 a.m., and police descended minutes later. Officers arrested one man before finding a handgun tossed under her neighbor's picnic table.

"It was pretty strange. Obviously, things like that happen. Not real pleased that it happened in our neighborhood," she reflected.

Neighbors told Fox 9 News that there have been incidents in and around the banquet hall over the years, but authorities downplayed any history of trouble.

"Disappointed with what's occurred, obviously, but we don't think public safety is at risk," Clifton said. "Seems like an isolated disturbance, unusual for Mankato -- this venue in particular."

By Sunday afternoon, police were not giving specifics about what happened before gunfire erupted shortly before the close of business; however, three people remain in custody. Clifton said that, given the number of witnesses involved, the investigation could take some time.

Meanwhile, loved ones of the man who died are expecting to hold a small candlelight vigil in Highland Park in Mankato at 4 p.m.

KATO BALLROOM STATEMENT

Statement Regarding Incident at the Kato Ballroom Sunday Morning

We here at the Kato Ballroom are deeply saddened by the events of last evening and express our sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased.   Our hearts go out to the family of the young man who lost his life.  We commend the police for their quick response and are working with them to assist in the apprehension of those responsible.

We’ve been asked by many to help clarify the situation.  Last night, we rented the back banquet room of the Ballroom to the South Sudanese Group at Minnesota State University (MSU) for a celebratory party.  There was no alcohol served at the event and only approximately 140 students attended.  The Association was told in advance that there would be no alcohol and that none could be brought into the event.  Our security checked every attendee as they entered to make sure this was honored.  The Kato takes security very seriously and staffed 1 security guard for every 35 students.  This ratio exceeds those mandated by the town.  

The event began at 10 pm and was peaceful until the lights were turned up at 1:45 am announcing that it was time to leave.  At that point, a scuffle broke out amongst some of the students.   Ballroom security called 911 asking for police assistance, escorted those students outside and was in the process of breaking up the fight when gun shots were heard.   We believe that the shooter went to his car and retrieved his weapon.  All of the shootings happened outside of the Ballroom after the party was over.

I, as the new owner, have been proud to offer the Ballroom to all types of groups in Mankato in hoping to serve all of the community, bring people together and make the historic Ballroom a place for everyone to enjoy.   We have a very close and positive relationship with the students at MSU.  In fact, we’ve hosted three other MSU events this year with no issues whatsoever, including, a 700 student celebratory party for the African Student Association of MSU in March.     

I want to thank my security staff for handling the situation as well as they did and thank the police department for their quick and efficient response.   We don’t consider the horrific actions taken by one individual to be indicative of the average MSU student.  We continue to view the school and the students in an exceptionally positive light.

Once again, our hearts go out to the family of the young man.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tania Cordes
Owner, Kato Ballroom




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