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Rural Cass County man, 73 charged with killing brother

A 73-year-old Backus man was charged Thursday, June 30, in Cass County District Court with felony second-degree intentional murder.

According to the criminal complaint:

Rolland Fred Kruckow called the Cass County dispatch at 11:13 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, and reported that his brother, Christian David Kruckow, 63, had come to the suspect's house, and they had gotten into a fight. Rolland Kruckow said he had shot Christian Kruckow and wasn't sure if he was dead or alive. Dispatch told Rolland Kruckow to place the gun down and wait outside his house until law enforcement officers arrived.

At 11:34 a.m. Tuesday, a Cass County Sheriff's investigator arrived on the scene and saw Rolland Kruckow sitting on the steps. The investigator arrested the suspect and handcuffed him. A Cass County deputy arrived and took Rolland Kruckow to the Cass County Jail.

The investigator entered the house, found Christian Kruckow lying between two rooms and determined he was dead. The investigator also found a snub-nosed .38 caliber revolver on a counter, cylinder open and five spent shell casing nearby.

In an interview with the investigator, Rolland Kruckow said he got out of bed and dressed when his brother came to the house. He said he always carries the .38 revolver in his pocket. He said they began to argue, and Christian Kruckow began to push him, at which point he pulled out the gun and shot his brother in the chest.

Rolland Kruckow's family members said they think Christian Kruckow went to his brother's house to borrow some tools. They said they know of no current animosity between the two men.

A Cass County District Court judge set unconditional bail for Rolland Kruckow at $400,000 and at $200,000 with conditions. His next court date is scheduled for July 5. Meanwhile, he remains in custody in the Cass County Jail.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are conducting the investigation, which is ongoing.