Deer River man sentenced to 9 years in prison for shooting at pedestrians, cars

Duran Wilson-Keezer of Deer River has been sentenced to nine years in prison for firing shots from an assault rifle toward pedestrians and vehicles while walking along the highway in February 2022.

Duran Douglas Wilson-Keezer

ITASCA COUNTY — A Deer River man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for firing shots from an assault rifle toward pedestrians and vehicles while walking along the highway in February 2022 in Ball Club.

According to the criminal complaint, at 4:25 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2022, Itasca County Deputy Jake Olson was dispatched to Ball Club on the report of a man, later identified as 19-year-old Duran Douglas Wilson-Keezer, of Deer River, firing a weapon while walking along the road.

While Olson was on his way to Ball Club, dispatch advised that they had taken a second call reporting that a male, identified in the complaint as R.J.H., was driving through Ball Club when his vehicle's rear window was shot near the Coral Road area.

In a statement given to Itasca County Sergeant Kyle Curtiss, R.J.H. said that he had been driving a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was traveling south on County Road 39 near the Ball Club Community Center when he heard a loud bang.

He noticed a bullet hole in his rear driver’s side window and saw that the bullet had exited through the rear passenger side window.


R.J.H. stated that he did not see Wilson-Keezer, nor was he on bad terms with him.

Through further investigation, it was learned that Wilson-Keezer had been to a man's house earlier in the day, identified in the complaint as K.C.M., at 51624 Agate Road in Ball Club.

In a statement, K.C.M. told Curtiss that Wilson-Keezer and another person came over to his home and wanted to look at his AK-47 rifle.

Wilson-Keezer was allowed to look at the rifle but he began acting weird, so K.C.M. stood up to take the gun away from him.

K.C.M. said that Wilson-Keezer, who was drunk, then walked out of the house with the gun while laughing and took off running eastbound.

Locating Wilson-Keezer

As Olson and Deer River Police Chief Brian Castellano arrived at the edge of Ball Club, Olson was flagged down by assistant Leech Lake Tribal Police Chief Kyle Fairbanks, who said he had seen Wilson-Keezer shooting an assault-style rifle and indicated that he had an active felony warrant for his arrest.

As Olson and Castellano neared the area of Coral Road on County Road 39, Olson saw a man crossing the road and then multiple rounds were fired.

The man, identified in the complaint as L.E.N., immediately went to the ground following the shots.


During a statement later made to Curtiss, L.E.N. said that Wilson-Keezer had run toward him with the gun down low, and then brought it up to his shoulder and started shooting at him as he was about 150 feet away.

L.E.N. said he heard the shots go past him and strike the community center.

He added that after he got up from the ground, it looked like Wilson-Keezer was showing the gun off to some people at a nearby house. After getting up, L.E.N. ran toward Olson and yelled several times that someone was shooting at him.

L.E.N. indicated that he had seen Wilson-Keezer leaving K.C.M.’s home earlier that day carrying a gun and a half-gallon of vodka and that he "knew it was not good,” the complaint said.

It was then reported that a man had been seen near a home at 31270 County Road 39. As Olson and Castellano proceeded to the area, Olson found a dog laying in the middle of the roadway and it was apparent that the dog had been recently shot.

At that time, Wilson-Keezer was seen traveling through the woods near the residence at 31168 County Road 39 in order to evade law enforcement.

Olson and Deputy Jared Morse began closing in on Wilson-Keezer and commanded him to show his hands.

At first, Wilson-Keezer yelled back at them and failed to follow the commands, but eventually put his hands in the air and went to his knees. No weapon was located in his possession at that time.


While attempting to escort Wilson-Keezer out of the woods, he began resisting by locking up his legs. Deputies then began carrying him out of the woods through the deep snow.

Wilson-Keezer was taken to an ambulance due to his exposure to cold temperatures. While being loaded into the ambulance, several empty rifle cartridges fell out of his pants pocket.

Law enforcement then returned to the home at 31270 County Road 39 along with a K9 trained to locate gunpowder residue. About 50 yards from the home, officers located an empty rifle cartridge similar to the cartridges that fell from Wilson-Keezer’s pockets.

About 100 yards from the home, a black shirt was found that had an SKS assault-style rifle hidden inside it.

A record check revealed that Wilson-Keezer has several prior convictions including felony third-degree assault and several misdemeanors dating back to 2021.

He was charged with 10 offenses as a result of the February 2022 incident. Wilson-Keezer was sentenced to 108 months in prison for two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm, all felonies.

Madelyn Haasken is the multimedia editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is a 2020 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Mass Communication, with minors in writing and design. In her free time, she likes watching hockey, doing crossword puzzles and being outside.
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