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Welch teens arrested after gunfire at party

ELLSWORTH — Two Minnesota teens were arrested after gunfire erupted at a party in rural Ellsworth.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Matthys said the Welch residents were taken into custody after officers were called at 3:32 a.m. Saturday to W5259 545th Ave.

A complainant called 911 while hiding in a cornfield to report that someone there had shot a gun. Matthys said preliminary investigation revealed there was a party at the property and a group from Minnesota was asked to leave.

“They later returned and a firearm was discharged in the driveway following a confrontation,” Matthys said.

No one was hurt by gunfire, he said. One person was, however, injured in a fight there.

About 15 people were on the scene by the time deputies arrived. Two firearms — a 9 mm handgun and a .22-caliber rifle — were believed to be involved in the incident, Matthys said.

Deputies arrested 19-year-old Elijah R. Buck on suspicion of negligent handling of a weapon and 18-year-old Elijah M. Grove-Thomas on suspicion of misdemeanor battery. Both men were jailed in Ellsworth and released on $500 cash bond the same day.

Matthys said the incident remains under investigation and that additional arrests and charges could be forthcoming.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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