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One injured, one arrested in separate gun-related incidents

Authorities were called to two apparent accidental discharges over the past week in St. Croix County — one of which sent a Glenwood City woman to the hospital.

The woman, a 21-year-old resident of a home in the 1400 block of 290th Street, was taken Feb. 22 to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with a gunshot wound. St. Croix County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said the injuries were not life-threatening.

He said that call came in around noon after the woman was struck by a bullet that went through a wall and struck her as she was about to get into the shower.

Officers learned an 18-year-old living at the house had been handling a .22-caliber long gun when he dropped it and it went off. The incident is still under review, but Knudson said "at this time it appears to be accidental."

The second gun-related incident occurred at 11:15 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27, when a Baldwin woman reported her daughter had called her after a bullet came through their house at 1515 Lokhorst St.

The incident drew a large law enforcement response, including St. Croix County's tactical emergency unit, which Knudson said happened to be training in the area at the time.

Officers confirmed it was a bullet that struck the house and tracked its suspected flight to a home on neighboring Summit Street. Knudson said officers found a home there with a bullet hole through the window; they later confirmed the gunshot originated there.

Officers struggled at first to make contact with anyone inside the house. Knudson said that was exacerbated by the fact that the home had recently been sold and phone numbers weren't current. A phone number for the new owner was eventually found, but Knudson said that person didn't answer.

Baldwin police and sheriff's deputies had formed a perimeter around the house while they assessed the situation and attempted to make contact with its occupants over a loudspeaker.

Eventually, the resident appeared on the perimeter with another person.

Knudson said the man told officers he had been cleaning his gun when it went off.

A search of the home confirmed there were no victims inside, Knudson said.

The resident, 20-year-old Michael J. Eide, was arrested on suspicion of endangering public safety by use of a dangerous weapon, THC possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Baldwin Police Chief Darren Krueger said Tuesday the incident remained under investigation, but he expected formal charges to be filed later in the day by the St. Croix County District Attorney's Office.

"The outcome," Krueger said, "was about as good as you could have hoped for," considering the circumstances.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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