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Pioneer again struck by bullets

Two bullets were shot into the Bemidji Pioneer's front door sometime early Sunday morning. This the second time in a month the business has had a drive-by shooting into its building. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

For the second time in a month, The Bemidji Pioneer has been struck by bullets in an apparent drive-by shooting.

An employee reported bullet damage about noon Sunday. A double-glass panel in the front entryway had a bullet hole and a lower-glass panel in the door had been shattered.

One of the damaged panes had just recently been replaced from a shooting that occurred earlier this month.

Employees were likely in the building at the time the shooting occurred. Employees had been on site until about 11:30 a.m.; the damage was found and reported just after noon.

No one was injured.

"We are concerned about our employees' safety," said Pioneer Publisher Dennis Doeden.

"We are implementing security measures to ensure that safety."

It is not known exactly what time the shooting occurred, but it is believed to have occurred after 6 a.m. A janitor leaves work at that time and does a building check before he departs; he reported nothing unusual Sunday morning.

A responding officer reported that bullet holes were low and straight, as if someone shot at the Pioneer/Advertiser building from inside a vehicle along the roadway.

Tire marks were visible in the snow, but numerous vehicles drive that route for newspaper delivery.

The shooting possibly could be related to a drive-by shooting that occurred just after midnight on New Year's Day.

Police Chief Gerald Johnson said bullets from both shootings have been sent for analyzing through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The BCA will compare the bullets and determine the likeliness of the incidents being related, Johnson said.

No suspects have been identified, he said.

On New Year's Day, panes of glass were broken by bullets in the main entryway and also along an employee/break-room entry located in the northwest portion of the building.

In all, five bullets have struck the building.