Makinen man pleads guilty to attempted murder

Authorities said a motorist was pursued at fired upon multiple times in a February "random act of violence."

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A Makinen man has pleaded guilty to randomly opening fire on a fellow motorist in February.

Daniel Edmund Reitmajer, 25, entered a Norgaard plea to a charge of attempted intentional second-degree murder by drive-by-shooting at a virtual hearing Monday in State District Court in Virginia. A second count of attempted first-degree murder is expected to be dismissed.

A Norgaard plea allows the defendant to assert that he is unable to recall all of the facts of the incident due to intoxication or amnesia while acknowledging that there is sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

Daniel Edmund Reitmajer


According to court documents, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office was notified Feb. 10 of a motorist being shot at in the Makinen area, southeast of Eveleth. The man was traveling on Wilson Road when his windshield was struck around 5 a.m.

The victim was advised to continue driving toward Virginia until coming into contact with responding squad cars. An officer noticed the rear window of the victim's truck was shattered with a small bullet hole near the center. The front windshield, which was cracked, also appeared to have been impacted by a bullet.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim said he was driving to work when he passed a white pickup truck parked at the end of a driveway. Shortly after, the driver of the pickup began tailgating the victim, then pulled up alongside the victim's vehicle and pointed a gun.

The victim reported slamming on the brakes right as he heard a gunshot, causing him to spin around. According to the complaint, he began driving away from the scene as fast as he could, but the driver of the pickup followed. The suspect fired a second shot, which hit the back window of the truck, before the victim got away.

Police located Reitmajer in his truck parked at the end of his driveway. He was detained on the scene with three .22-caliber rounds located in his pocket and a small plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine, according to the complaint. In the snow near the driveway, police also seized a .22-caliber long rifle with live ammunition. Police also seized a .22-caliber long rifle.

The sheriff's office later said Reitmajer and the victim did not know each other, describing the incident as a "random act of violence."

Sixth Judicial District Judge Michelle Anderson scheduled sentencing for Jan. 6. Reitmajer remains at the St. Louis County Jail.

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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