Duluth man shot by stray bullet while walking home

The intended target avoided injury but had a bullet fragment lodged in his shoe, according to a criminal complaint.

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DULUTH — A man was walking home when he was struck by a stray bullet fired by an assailant who he did not know, according to charges filed this week.

Authorities said Mikiyel Deshone Patton, 36, of Minneapolis, was firing at another man when he instead struck Timothy Stauffenecker, 59, a pedestrian on the other side of the street. The victim reportedly took himself to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, which included a bullet fragment that remains in his shoulder.

Mikiyel Deshone Patton.jpg
Mikiyel Deshone Patton

Patton allegedly changed clothes and swapped vehicles before fleeing the area to the Twin Cities, where he was arrested Tuesday. He is facing three felony counts and will likely make his first appearance Thursday in State District Court.

According to court documents:

The shooting was reported on the 100 block of East Third Street around 2:15 p.m. Saturday. Both the shooter and victim had left the scene by the time officers arrived, but the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.


The footage reportedly showed Patton and another man, both of whom were known to police, arguing in front of an apartment building. Patton was then seen reaching into a jacket pocket and pulling out an apparent gun, pointing it at the other man's feet. The man could be seen flinching and running away as dirt kicked up from the ground when Patton apparently fired.

A canvass of the area resulted in the recovery of three .45-caliber shell casings and a bullet fragment near an indent in the sidewalk.

The other man, when located by police, recalled being "afraid for his life" as he was only 4-5 feet away from Patton as he fired. That victim, who was not identified in documents, said he had been standing outside when the defendant approached, appearing angry and confronting him.

The man indicated one of the shots landed near his feet, leaving a bullet fragment embedded in his shoe — a fact confirmed by police.

Officers were still searching the area when a dispatcher reported that Stauffenecker had walked into the nearby emergency room at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center. An officer went there and wrote that there was a "large circular hole" in the victim's left bicep.

Stauffenecker told police he was walking east down Third Street when he saw two men arguing on the opposite side. He reported that he stopped near Second Avenue East to type a text message and heard gunshots, then felt a pain in his left arm.

Hospital staff reported that a bullet fragment had traveled to the backside of Stauffenecker's shoulder blade and could not be removed.

Investigators determined Patton had fled the scene in a truck owned by a 28-year-old Duluth woman. After obtaining a search warrant, they went to her residence and seized at least three firearms and multiple boxes of ammunition, including .45-caliber bullets matching the shell casings recovered on Third Street.


Surveillance video also showed Patton entering Pier B Resort, 800 W. Railroad St., just before 2:30 p.m., changing clothes and leaving with a duffel bag just 11 minutes later. Investigators indicated he apparently swapped vehicles with another person, heading toward Wisconsin in an SUV.

The Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force learned the vehicle was a rental and traced it to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, requesting the assistance of a Twin Cities law enforcement task force whose officers confirmed the presence of the SUV.

A warrant was issued Monday, and Patton was taken into custody without incident by the U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force on Tuesday in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.

Patton is charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and reckless discharge of a firearm. Records show he was transported Wednesday from Anoka County to the St. Louis County Jail, where he remains without bail ahead of his arraignment.

Authorities described Patton as a "known drug dealer and violent offender in the Duluth area," though he has only one misdemeanor driving case pending in the region. He is also on conditional release for a misdemeanor domestic violence case in Hennepin County.

However, St. Louis County prosecutor Michael Hagley said the defendant has significant history in Illinois, including felony convictions for manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance, aggravated vehicle hijacking with a weapon, delivery of 30-500 grams of cannabis and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

"The severity of defendant’s conduct, defendant’s criminal history and defendant’s demonstrated willingness to evade law enforcement and violate terms of pretrial release necessitate a high bail in this matter," Hagley told the court, requesting $125,000 and no referral for supervised release.

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Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or
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