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Brotherly fight leads to death

Rolland Kruckow

A Backus man, shot in the chest and killed Tuesday, was reportedly going to his brother’s house to borrow some tools.

Rolland Fred Kruckow, 73, was arraigned Thursday in the shooting death of his 63-year-old brother. Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie reported Rolland Kruckow was charged with second degree intentional murder. 

Details of the shooting were released Thursday by the Cass County Attorney’s office and in a criminal complaint.

• Cass County’s dispatch center received a call about 11:13 a.m. Tuesday from a man who identified himself as Rolland Kruckow and said his brother Christian Kruckow had come to his residence and they had gotten into a fight. 

• Rolland Kruckow stated he shot his brother and wasn’t sure if he was alive. He was instructed to place the gun down and wait outside the residence until law enforcement arrived. 

• Cass County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Mike Diekmann arrived about 11:34 a.m. and found Rolland Kruckow seated near the front steps of the house and placed him under arrest. 

• Diekmann located Christian Kruckow’s body inside the house in a pathway between the kitchen and living room, checked for vital signs and determined he was dead.

• Diekmann observed a .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver with a cylinder open sitting on a counter in plain view. Alongside the weapon, Diekmann saw five spent shell casings. 

• Rolland Kruckow reportedly told Diekmann he always carries a .38 caliber revolver in his pants pocket and was doing so when his brother came to his house. Kruckow stated he was in bed when his brother knocked on the door and then he got up and got dressed. He stated he let his brother in and shortly thereafter they began to argue. 

• According to the criminal complaint, “Rolland Kruckow stated Christian Kruckow began to push him, at which point he reached into his pocket, pulled out the handgun and shot him in the chest area. He stated that he could not recall how many times he shot, however, officers recovered five spent shell casings, together with the handgun from inside the residence.”

• In the criminal complaint, Rolland Kruckow said after the shooting his brother fell to the floor and he contacted the Cass County dispatch, laid down the firearm and went outside to wait for the arrival of law enforcement officers. 

• Members of Christian Kruckow’s family told law enforcement officials, to their knowledge, he had gone to his brother’s house to borrow some tools. The family said there was no knowledge of any present animosity between the two brothers. 

Bail was set at $400,000 and at $200,000 with conditions. The next court date for Rolland Kruckow is July 5. 

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are involved in the ongoing investigation. 

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852.