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Crookston man facing firearms, drug charges after accidental 9mm discharge downtown

A work crew re-siding the duplex reported hearing what sounded like a gunshot and then witnessed a tire deflating on a construction trailer. A subsequent search turned up the 9mm handgun and drugs.

Mike Christopherson

A Crookston man was arrested Monday, Nov. 9 and is facing a possible charge of recklessly discharging a firearm, as well as drug possession, after construction workers downtown reported a possible gunshot.

    No one was injured.

    Casey Benjamin Staff, 21, is in custody at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston, Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier reports.

    The incident began to unfold around 2:45 p.m. Monday when the CPD received a report that was a firearm was possibly discharged at 210 West Loring Street and that a tire on a construction trailer was damaged as a result. During the investigation, officers learned that a work crew was re-siding the duplex rental property there and that minutes before 2 p.m. several workers heard what sounded like a gunshot followed immediately by the sound of a tire deflating on a construction trailer and visibly going flat. The trailer was taken to a local tire repair shop where a 9mm round was located inside the damaged tire.

    Officers spoke with the workers and observed what appeared to be a hole in the side of the building similar in size to a 9mm round, which appeared to have exited the residence and appeared to  align with the location of the construction trailer.

    It was reported to offers that a individual male, Staff, left the residence very shortly after the gunshot. Contact was subsequently made with Staff, who, according to the CPD, stated that it was an accidental discharge and that he would return to the residence. Staff, who resides in the apartment, consented to a search of the residence and he advised officers where the gun would be found. Drugs and drug paraphernalia were also found during the search.

    Staff is facing possible charges that include dangerous weapon – reckless discharge of a firearm; fifth degree drug possession, not marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; and, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force assisted.