Oct. 13-MANKATO - Two young men allegedly fled from Mankato police Tuesday night while police sought information about a drive-by shooting the night before. The two have been charged in connection with the pursuit and a found gun, but not in connection to the shooting.
Kueth Chuol Ngut, 19, and Jal Chol Dhul, 21, both of Mankato, were charged Wednesday with felony fleeing police in a vehicle and misdemeanor fleeing police on foot in Blue Earth County District Court. Ngut also is charged with gross misdemeanors for having a gun after being charged with a felony, carrying a gun without a permit and possessing a gun with no serial number.
According to the court complaints and a Mankato Department of Public Safety spokesman:
Officers were called to a drive-by shooting outside a residence on Carney Avenue late Monday night. A resident said he was outside, heard what he thought was fireworks and then projectiles whizzed past him.
The man said something struck him in the chest but did not puncture his skin.
Officers found multiple holes in the siding of the house.
Ngut was identified as a possible suspect. An officer spotted Ngut's vehicle on Stoltzman Drive Tuesday evening. The driver did not promptly pull over.
The car then stopped and Ngut got out of the passenger seat and ran. He appeared to be holding a gun. Dhul got out of the driver's seat and also ran.
Officers caught Dhul after a foot chase. An officer chasing Ngut heard a metal object fall in a backyard before Ngut circled back to the car and sped off.
The car was found empty a half-mile away. Ngut was found in the area after a search.
A gun was found in the area where the officer pursing Ngut heard something hit the ground. The handgun had an extended magazine with 31 bullets. Ngut is not allowed to have a gun because of pending charges in an alleged armed robbery home invasion last year.
Drew Campbell, president of the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association, said the car was abandoned near his East Pleasant Street residence and his neighborhood was quickly flooded with law enforcement officers.
"There were more police than I've ever seen in my neighborhood," he said.
Campbell and other neighbors tuned into apps that broadcast public safety radio transmissions and were able to ascertain that police were searching for men who had fled.
A K9 police dog and drone were brought in to aid in the search, which was still ongoing when he went to bed.
Fireworks set off by someone during the search Tuesday were mistaken for gunfire by at least one resident in the downtown Mankato area. But associate Director of Public Safety Dan Schisel said there were no gunshots fired Tuesday, just fireworks reported on Main Street.
Staff writer Jordan Smith contributed to this story.