A Brainerd man faces several felony charges, including attempted murder, after trying to shoot another man inside a downtown Brainerd bar.

William John Michael Novicky, 34, was charged Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Crow Wing County District Court with three felonies — second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted manslaughter to intentionally cause death in the heat of passion and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

William John Michael Novicky
William John Michael Novicky

The Brainerd Police Department responded to a report of a shooting shortly before 8 p.m. Nov. 8 at O’Neary’s Irish Pub. Police learned there was a disturbance involving Novicky and another patron in the bar.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Novicky, the victim was playing pull tabs, won $140 and yelled a racially insensitive word. According to the bartender this was not racially motivated but something the victim said when excited, the complaint stated. When the victim yelled the word again, Novicky asked him what he said and the victim repeated himself. Novicky then pulled a handgun from his waistband, pointed it at the victim’s chest and pulled the trigger, the complaint stated, but the gun didn’t fire. The victim and other witnesses told police they thought the gun was a novelty item.

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After the misfire Novicky examined his gun and pulled out the misfired cartridge. He looked at the bartender and said, "The guy should be dead," referring to the victim. Novicky then fired a second round into the wall of the bar and then fled out the back of the bar and down the alley. He ditched his gun by throwing it up on a rooftop where it was recovered by law enforcement, the complaint stated. It was a short black .38 special which was positively identified by witnesses. When recovered one chamber was empty and the other had a spent cartridge in it. Law enforcement was also able to recover a misfired .38 round on the floor by the jukebox. The victim told law enforcement that he did not think the gun was real when Novicky pointed it at him and pulled the trigger until he heard the click of the misfire.

Unconditional bond was set at $500,000 or $250,000 with conditions including Novicky cannot leave the state without court approval, cannot contact the victims, that he make all future court appearances, he cannot possess or use any firearms, dangerous weapons, alcohol or controlled substances.

As of Friday, Nov. 13, Novicky remained in custody. His next court hearing is scheduled at 2:15 p.m. Nov. 19.