Teens shot in Little Falls linked to earlier burglary - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Teens shot, killed in Little Falls linked to earlier burglary

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Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel has confirmed a search of a car seized after the deadly shootings of Nick Brady and Haile Kifer contained items reported stolen in a separate burglary south of Little Falls.

According to Wetzel, Morrison County deputies had contact with Brady on Nov. 21 at approximately 9:25 p.m. after a homeowner in Little Falls Township reported a car parked suspiciously near the end of his driveway on Hilton Road.

Brady told deputies he and Kifer had been driving around in the red Mitsubishi Eclipse when it ran out of gas. Brady said Kifer had left to go get more gas. Deputies then gave Brady a ride into Little Falls, while the car was left behind on Hilton Road, near the home of Richard Johnson.

On Nov. 25, the sheriff's office received a report of a burglary at the Johnson home. Johnson had been out of town for more than a week and an acquaintance had discovered the break-in after checking on the home. Johnson reported several items as stolen, including bottles of prescription medication.

A search of the red Mitsubishi Eclipse turned up six bottles of prescription medication in Johnson's name, but none of them could be used to get high. The same car was found Friday parked around the corner from Smith's property.

Sheriff Wetzel says the investigation into the shootings of Nick Brady and Haile Kifer, as well as other burglaries that may be connected, is ongoing.

Byron Smith, 64, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the Thanksgiving Day shootings. Smith told police the teenagers were breaking into his home at the time of the shooting, and said his home had been burglarized several times before.

According to the charges, Smith told investigators he shot Brady as he walked down the stairs, then shot him again in the face as he lay on the floor looking at him.

"I want him dead," Smith told police.

Smith said he sat down in a chair when Kifer started walking down the steps. Smith shot her and she also fell down the stairs. He tried to shoot her a second time, but his rifle jammed. When the gun jammed, Kifer laughed at him, fueling his anger.

"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," he told police.

Smith then pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and shot Kifer several times in the chest. He shot her once more under the chin because she was still gasping for air a few minutes later.

Under Minnesota law, a homeowner can use deadly force on an intruder if a reasonable person believes the intruder intends to inflict harm. Smith told investigators he was afraid the teens might have a weapon.

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