by John PragerA former Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center corrections officer is behind bars after Standing His Ground™ against…being told not to ride his lawnmower in someone else’s yard. This responsible, legal gun owner became angry with a 17-year old girl after she told him not to ride his lawnmower through her yard.Chad Pickering of Bemidji shot the teen three times as she stood on the deck of her home Monday night, according to a criminal complaint, striking her in the right thigh, left ankle, and chest when the girl stepped out to tie up her barking dogs. She says she noticed the shadow of someone crouching in her yard, then heard gunfire and felt the freedom bullets piercing her body. She was unable to walk, but pulled herself into the house to call 911.
Investigators found three .45-calibre shell casings in the grass near the deck where it appeared someone had been lying in the grass under a pine tree. The girl told investigators that a man who lived nearby had been riding his mower through her yard, and that he regularly carried a pistol in a holster. She said that she had spoken to him about trespassing, and that he denied her allegation.
Officers searched Pickering’s home and found a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol with a holster hidden in the air vent. Pickering, however, claimed that he had not seen the gun in a week or so. He attempted to explain away the fresh grass stains on his jeans he said he might have gotten the stain kneeling to hook a trailer to his mower.
When investigators pointed out some inconsistencies in his story, Pickering said he had taken his children for a ride with the mower. After he returned home, the girl came to his front door to confront him about riding the mower through her yard. Pickering admitted that he went to her house, knelt by a pine tree, and shot her after she came out the door. He then said he hid the gun and holster in the vent.
Pickering is being held on $300,000 bail and has been charged with felony attempted first-degree murder.