“He did not deserve this.”: Fiancé of N. Fargo shooting victim speaks out

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The fiancé of a Fargo man killed by gunfire over the weekend is speaking out and asking for answers.

Fargo Police say 41-year-old Eric Woodrow Hayes suffered a single gunshot wound and later died after being shot by 40-year-old Raymond Christoph Gunn. Police say it happened outside the Loaf N’ Jug in the 12 block of University Dr. S. just after 11 Saturday night, which was just minutes from what was supposed to be Hayes’ 41st birthday.

“He was like, ‘I’ll be home soon!’ And I was like, ‘Ok, well I love you.’ We gave each other a kiss and that’s the last time I saw him,” Kristie Janssen, Hayes’ fiancé said.

Just hours after her partner of three years left for a friend’s house Saturday night, Janssen says she woke up to a phone call out of a nightmare.

“All I heard on the other end was his father telling me that Eric had been shot and I didn’t cry. It was like it was so numbing I couldn’t cry,” she said.

Since then, Janssen says there have been far more questions than answers. She says Fargo Police haven’t been able to give them any more information, including the why or who even Raymond Gunn is.

“I’ve never seen him. At all. In my life. What caused it? Why did he stay and render aid after the fact?” Janssen said. “The only people who are going to really, truly know what happened are him and the shooter. And he’s gone. So, are we really going to get 100% answers on any of it? No, we’re not.”

Instead of celebrating Hayes’ birthday Sunday, Janssen says she and her kids spent the day in shock and grieving.

“He did not deserve this,” Janssen said.

When asked if Hayes was ever violent or known to provoke an assault, both Janssen and one of her daughters said no.

“If the guy came at him, I could see him fighting. I could see him holding his ground. But I can’t see my fiancé going at him at all,” Janssen said.

And Janssen emphasizes although she’s heartbroken, she doesn’t hate Gunn.

“I know in my heart that (Eric) would forgive this man,” Janssen said.

Janssen and her kids say they’ll remember Hayes for all he did for others and his positive attitude.

“He was a good guy. He definitely made sure everyone around him was taken care of as much as they could be. He did everything in his power to be happy,” Krishanna Lindsey, Janssen’s daughter said.

Janssen added while going on without him seems impossible, she says she knows Hayes is in a better place.

“Everybody that knew us knew we were soulmates. We were meant to be together. And we will see each other again. This isn’t goodbye, it’s until we meet again,” she said.

We reached out to Gunn who is being held at the Cass County Jail, however, he declined an interview.

Officials say Gunn is expected to be formally charged Tuesday or Wednesday.

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