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One hurt, three arrested in Baxter shooting

Corey Sam

BAXTER — A Knollwood Drive resident suffered a gunshot wound to his hand late Wednesday in what Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted said appeared to be a drug-related crime. 

The shooting, reported at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, happened at a residence on the 12000 block of Knollwood Drive, across the street from Forestview Middle School in south Baxter. 

Three suspects had fled from the area — one in a vehicle and two on foot — before law enforcement’s arrival at the home. Within three minutes of the initial call, a Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputy and a Baxter police officer stopped the suspect vehicle about a mile away. 

The driver, Corey Allen Sam, 21, was arrested without incident and is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on probable cause of felony aggravated robbery, felony second-degree assault and felony fourth-degree sale of a controlled substance in a school zone. He also was cited for driving after license revocation, having no proof of insurance and not wearing a seat belt. Formal criminal charges are pending with the Crow Wing County Attorney’s office. 

A ground search for the other two suspects was immediately started with Baxter Police’s K-9 team along with officers from the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department, Brainerd Police Department and the State Patrol. 

About two hours after the initial call, the suspects, two 17-year-old males from Minneapolis, were located in the lobby of a motel off Highway 210 and placed under arrest. Their names were not released because they are juveniles. One is being held at the Crow Wing County Jail and the other at the Northwest Juvenile Detention Center in Bemidji pending formal charges from county attorney’s office. 

Exsted said the handgun believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered in a wooded area near the crime scene. 

The victim, a 26-year-old man, appeared to suffer a gunshot wound to the hand but refused medical treatment, Exsted said. Exsted declined to release the name of the victim because the incident was still under investigation and officers were conducting follow-up interviews. 

Exsted also declined to comment on what specific evidence was found that led officers to believe the crime was drug related. 

“The details, the evidence presented, would indicate it was drug related. That’s about as much as we can say at this point,” Exsted said. “The investigation will continue but we’re confident we have all the players that were involved.”

Exsted said Knollwood Drive is generally a very quiet neighborhood and his department has had no past calls to the residence at which the shooting took place. “At least none that tie back in to the victim,” he said. 

The suspects weren’t staying at the motel or at the Knollwood Drive residence, Exsted said. He added it appeared they had traveled to Baxter for a specific purpose. 

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.