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Granite Falls shooting victim identifies suspect; man in custody

GRANITE FALLS — Andrew Dikken entered the house of Kara Monson in Granite Falls sometime after 3 a.m. Sept. 2 and turned on the lights and began shooting her and Chris Panitzke as they were sleeping in a bed, according to the allegations in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday afternoon in Yellow Medicine County District Court.

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It charges Andrew Joseph Dikken, 28, of Granite Falls, formerly of Renville, with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls. Only a grand jury may bring first-degree murder charges, by way of indictment.

Dikken is being held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls, and is scheduled to appear on the charges this morning in District Court in Granite Falls.

Monson died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds. Her boyfriend, Panitzke, remained conscious and made the 911 call that summoned help. He told the first officers arriving at the scene around 3:28 a.m. that “Andy” Dikken had shot them.

Panitzke again identified Dikken as the assailant when questioned by another officer at the Granite Falls Hospital emergency room, where he was first taken for medical care, according to the complaint.

Panitzke was airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died Sept. 8 of complications from multiple gunshot wounds.

The complaint also alleges that Monson had received text messages from Dikken within hours of the shooting. Investigators also learned that Dikken had sent a threatening message to one of Monson’s family members that indicated he was threatening Monson’s life, according to the complaint.

Monson and Panitzke were the only two people in the home at the time of the shooting. Monson’s 5-year-old daughter, Poppy, was not present.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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