Friends and neighbors turned enemies and violent Friday morning. A man was shot in a landlord-tenant dispute just a few miles east of Perham. A brief standoff occurred before 63-year Gerald Skolte surrendered to law enforcement. Skolte is behind bars and the shooting victim remains in the hospital.
"We are called very frequently to these situations," said Lt. Greg Seim with the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.
Valley News Live was first on scene and found out more about the incident and how often Otter Tail county authorities have to deal with similar situations.
Officials with the Otter Tail county sheriff's office tell Valley News Live that when they arrived on scene the victim, which was the tenant living on the property, was lying near the road and mailboxes with a gunshot wound.
"The tenants resided in the green mobile home and Mr. Skolte resided in the white home," said Lt. Seim describing the scene.
Authorities believe the tenants, who are not being named, have lived on this property for about a year. The Otter Tail county SWAT team was called to clear the property before investigators took over, combing through the tall grass for evidence.
"We do not get involved in landlord-tenant disputes where there's dispute over who stays where, where there's not documents filed through the court," said Lt. Seim.
Lt. Seim said his department gets called frequently to arguments between landlords and tenants.
"In this situation there hasn't been documents filed through the court. It's just a civil eviction between the parties living on the property," said Lt. Seim.
Gerald Skolte is no stranger to run-ins with the law. The court records out of Otter Tail County show numerous misdemeanors and felonies; including 5th degree assault, a felony charge of making terroristic threats and felony possession of a firearm.
"Do you know the firearm used in this situation, whether it was purchased legally or not?" asked Reporter Bradford Arick.
"I do not know if it was purchased legally," said Lt. Seim
That's the next step in this situation for the Sheriff's Office, continuing to gather information along with continuing to build the case against Gerald Skolte. Then they plan to seek prosecution.
Gerald Skolte was booked into the Otter Tail County jail. The Sheriff's office said Skolte is facing attempted murder charges.
If you are tenant in a dispute with your landlord, click the link next to this story for more information.
One person is in custody after an incident in Otter Tail County Friday morning, according to Sheriff Brian Schlueter. A woman called deputies just after 7:00 a.m. reporting her boyfriend had been shot.
When deputies arrived, the found a man with a gunshot wound laying in the front yard by the road. The deputies were able to safely get the victim and woman away from the scene and the man was taken to an area hospital.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department and the Minnesota State Patrol, began to set up a perimeter around the home because the suspect was still inside. A short time later, Gerald Skolte came out of the home and surrendered.
Sheriff Schlueter says Skolte has been arrested on an attempted murder charge. He says is appears the shooting stems from a landlord-tenant dispute.