Target shooting finds four facing felony charges of endangering lives of others

By Rachel Kytonen

Four individuals are facing felony charges after law enforcement responded to a shooting complaint March 25 west of Cambridge.

According to the criminal complaint, on March 25, around 4:20 p.m., the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department responded to a shooting complaint. One party reported bullets were whizzing over their heads, and another person reported that a bullet entered the bedroom of his house.

The parties who called 911 to report the complaint live in the Goldenrod Street area west of Cambridge, south of Hwy. 95, just south of Co. Rd. 10/Palm Street NW.

Deputies Brandon Oliver and Doug Barron responded and after doing an investigation, four individuals were arrested.

On Tuesday, March 27, the following individuals appeared before Judge Anderson in 10th Judicial District Court in Cambridge and were charged with felony, dangerous weapons-intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety of others: Joseph Kevin Bentfield, 56, Cambridge; Karen Rae Emery, 55, Cambridge; Amanda Marie Emery, 26, Ramsey and Brent Todd Emery, 26, Ramsey.

All the defendants were released on their own recognizance with conditions and are scheduled to make their next appearance in court April 18.

According to the criminal complaint:

When the deputies responded to the scene, they could hear gunfire, and observed the individuals shooting handguns. As the deputies drove up, they put the handguns on the tailgate of a pickup truck.

While Deputy Barron stayed with the individuals, Deputy Oliver met with two of the complaining parties who reside on Goldenrod Street NW. One complainant said he was lying on his bed in his bedroom watching T.V. when he heard gunfire for a few minutes. He then heard something hit the wall and whizz over his head. He said he immediately got on the floor and crawled out of his bedroom because he was afraid of being shot.

When Deputy Oliver inspected the west side of the house, by a lower bedroom window, he found a hole in the side of the house that was consistent with a bullet hole entrance. On the inside wall of the bedroom, Deputy Oliver located a hole that had the appearance of an exit hole created by a bullet, and a nine millimeter bullet that was found on a bookshelf approximately a foot off the ground.

Deputy Oliver spoke with another party that lives off Goldenrod Street NW. She said she and her mother were out in the front yard when they heard the gunfire. She said shortly after, she heard a whizzing sound over head, as well as branches breaking off her trees. She said she got on the ground, and yelled at her mother to get down, as she crawled back into the house to call 911. She said she feared for her safety and thought she was going to get shot in her front yard.

When Bentfield was interviewed by Deputy Oliver, he explained he and the three others had decided to do some target shooting on the east side of his property located on Palm Street NW. He said they were going to shoot some water bottles filled with sand, and some balloons. He explained the water bottles and balloons were at chest level and were not placed on the ground.

Bentfield said he didn’t have any type of backstop behind the targets; that he was just using the field to catch the rounds as they ran out of energy. He said he didn’t think the rounds would travel as far as the houses on Goldenrod Street NW.