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Minnesota native fatally shot in Florida

ESKO - A 19-year-old Esko native was fatally shot over the weekend in Florida, where he was attending college, according to police and family members.

ESKO - A 19-year-old Esko native was fatally shot over the weekend in Florida, where he was attending college, according to police and family members.

Ethan Jared Halverson, who was living in Port Orange, Fla., was shot once outside a Daytona Beach apartment building Saturday, according to a police report.

Halverson was majoring in electrical engineering at the University of Central Florida. He and his twin brother, Isaac, were born and raised in Esko until the family relocated to Florida in 2012, stepfather Keith Lennartson said.

A Daytona Beach Police Department report indicates that officers were called to a residential address just before 1 p.m. Saturday and found Halverson with a gunshot wound to the left side. He was pronounced dead at a hospital about a half-hour later.

Police Chief Mike Chitwood told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that it appeared Halverson was shot when he jumped out of the back of a vehicle in an attempt to rob a drug dealer outside the apartment building. The chief said investigators recovered text messages exchanged by Halverson and his friends organizing the attempted robbery.

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Police said they had identified the suspect but had not announced any arrests in the case as of Tuesday evening.

The police account has been disputed by Halverson's family. His older brother and father told the News-Journal that they believe Halverson was attempting to help a friend recover stolen property when he was killed.

Lennartson said the family is making plans to hold a memorial service in Esko in the near future.

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