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Pine County teen charged with shooting stepfather

A 16-year-old Pine County boy allegedly shot his stepfather in the head Wednesday, critically wounding him. A juvenile petition filed Thursday charges David Douglas Doberstein with one count each of attempted second-degree murder, assault in the ...

A 16-year-old Pine County boy allegedly shot his stepfather in the head Wednesday, critically wounding him.

A juvenile petition filed Thursday charges David Douglas Doberstein with one count each of attempted second-degree murder, assault in the second degree and assault with a dangerous weapon.

"I snapped and didn't know how to stop," Doberstein told investigators, according to the juvenile petition.

The Pine County Attorney's Office filed a motion to have the case handled in adult court.

According to the juvenile petition:

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A 911 operator received a medical call to the 10,000 block of Beroun Crossing Road at 4:49 a.m. for a man having trouble breathing. Emergency workers found Mark McKellar, 41, sitting in a chair, his right eye drooping. Emergency workers believed he may have suffered a stroke and fallen, since there was blood on his head.

But workers at Essentia Health Sandstone found a bullet hole in the back of McKellar's head and a bullet lodged behind his right eye. He was moved to a Twin Cities-area hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery and is in critical condition, Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole said Thursday afternoon.

According to the petition, Doberstein told investigators that he didn't like his stepfather, and that they had had an argument two weeks ago. Doberstein told investigators that he had taken a .22-caliber revolver from a gun safe in the master bedroom, intending to kill either himself or McKellar. When he thought of the earlier argument, "anger took over him."

Doberstein told investigators how he walked up behind McKellar, who was sleeping in an easy chair, and "described how he knelt down behind his stepdad and then put the gun up behind his stepdad's head, braced the gun with his other and then fired the gun."

Doberstein then went to wake his mother, telling her "something is wrong with Dad." He then returned the gun to the gun safe, where officials found it loaded with three cartridges, one of which was spent.

Doberstein is being held at the Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Related Topics: CRIMEESSENTIA HEALTH
Steve Kuchera is a retired Duluth News Tribune photographer.
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