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Pine County man says he shot himself; girlfriend arrested instead

A 38-year-old woman is facing charges in Pine County after authorities said she shot her boyfriend Tuesday evening in rural Sturgeon Lake.

The shooting victim, who was not identified by authorities, reported to deputies that his injuries were self-inflicted, but evidence pointed to his apparent girlfriend as the shooter, Sheriff Robin Cole said. The victim had “more than one” gunshot wound to the torso, Cole said.

“In general, whenever somebody claims to have shot (himself), it’s typically not two times, three times, four times,” Cole said. “You shoot yourself once and that’s usually all you can take.”

That, coupled with other evidence, was enough for investigators to arrest the woman on probable cause of first-degree assault, Cole said. Formal charges were expected to be filed Thursday.

According to the Sheriff’s Office:

Deputies were dispatched to a reported shooting on Farm to Market Road, west of Sturgeon Lake, just after 6 p.m. Deputies found the wounded man, who reported that his injuries were self-inflicted.

“Through talking with other individuals and a scene investigation, it became apparent that wasn’t what happened,” Cole said, declining to elaborate on the exact circumstances leading up to the woman’s arrest.

The man was transported by ambulance to St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, where he was listed in “stable but serious” condition. The suspected shooter, a 38-year-old woman believed to be the man’s girlfriend, was arrested and is in custody at the Pine County Jail.

Cole said investigators were continuing to conduct interviews Wednesday afternoon. The Sheriff’s Office received assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Duluth Police Department.