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Man who shot up Bemidji building sentenced for firearm charge

BEMIDJI – A Bemidji man has been sentenced for shooting at the Bemidji Pioneer office building in early 2011.

Edward Michael Halvorson, 38, currently serving a 64-month prison sentence on an unrelated weapons charge, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and one day in prison for felony reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality, according to Annie Claesson-Huseby, chief assistant Beltrami County attorney, who prosecuted the case.

He pleaded guilty to the charge last Friday.

Halvorson’s sentence was executed by Beltrami County District Judge Shari Schluchter. Halvorson will serve the time consecutive to his 64-month sentence for felony dangerous weapons.

He also was ordered to pay restitution.

The Pioneer building was twice damaged by bullets. No one was injured.

According to the criminal complaint:

The first shooting occurred at about 12:45 a.m. Jan. 1, 2011. Employees working inside the building reported hearing gunshots. Three bullets were recovered and turned over the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

In December 2011, Halvorson was arrested on an unrelated charge. Through that investigation, it was learned Halvorson had a 38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver in his possession on Jan. 1.

The revolver was located and analyzed. It was determined that the revolver fired the bullets recovered from the Bemidji Pioneer.

On July 24, Halvorson was interviewed from inside the St. Cloud prison. He admitted that he had the revolver in his possession. When asked if he had shot at the Pioneer, Halvorson said, “I don’t know. I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you what happened. The gun was in my possession.”

He then stated he was drinking heavily at the time as he was going through a divorce.