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Minnesota Man Says He Fired More Shots Than Needed

Shooting (FILE)
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LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) – Authorities say a Minnesota man admits firing more shots than necessary at two teenagers he said had broken into his home. He’s charged with murder in the shooting deaths of the 18-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy, who was the girl’s cousin.

They were shot on Thanksgiving Day, but their deaths weren’t reported until the next day.

Byron Smith of Little Falls told authorities he feared they had a weapon. Smith acknowledged in a criminal complaint that he fired “more shots than (he) needed to.” Smith also described “a good clean finishing shot” for one teen.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith said he was in the basement of his home when he heard a window breaking, followed by footsteps. He said he fired when the boy came into view, and the wounded teen fell down the stairs. He said he then shot the 17-year-old in the face as he lay on the floor.

When the 18-year-old then began coming down the stairs, Smith said, he shot her and she also fell down the steps. He told police he tried to shoot her again, but that the gun jammed and that she laughed at him, so he shot her several more times with another gun.

The following day, according to the complaint, he asked a neighbor to recommend a good lawyer.

Minnesota law lets a homeowner use deadly force on an intruder if a reasonable person would fear they’re in danger of harm. Smith told investigators he was afraid the intruder might have a weapon.

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