The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 21, 2014

All released in shooting case

Victim who died described as "genuine and loving"

By Dan Nienaber

---- — MANKATO — All three people arrested after a shooting at the Kato Ballroom early Sunday morning have been released and Blue Earth County's chief prosecutor said he isn't sure when charges will be filed for the incident that left one man dead and three others injured.

Law requires that people who are taken into custody by law enforcement have to be charged or released within 48 hours after their arrest. Staff at the Blue Earth County Jail confirmed Dilang Nhial Dat, 20, and Kim Tong Yik Doluony, both of Omaha, Neb., were released Monday afternoon. A Mankato woman, Nyeyoup David Gach, 18, also has been released.

Police responded to a report of shots being fired in the parking lot of the Kato Ballroom at 1:53 a.m. Sunday. Dolouony was arrested for carrying a weapon without a permit. Dat and Gach were arrested for obstruction of the legal process. Police officers also learned four people had been shot, including one who died as a result of his injuries.

"We still don't know who did what to whom," said Pat McDermott, assistant Blue Earth County attorney. "So we may have to just release people now that we have them identified."

The Mankato Department of Public Safety wasn't releasing many details about the investigation Monday. Micheal Anderson, an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was interviewing witnesses with a Mankato detective at the Public Safety Center Monday afternoon.

Deb McDermott, Mankato's detective commander, said she would release more information Tuesday if a medical examiner is able to positively identify the man who died from gunshot wounds. A man who said he is the victim's cousin, and also a victim himself, identified the man who was killed as Poth Acouth, 22, of Omaha.

Mawut "Ater" Mayen has started a GoFundMe page called "Rest in Paradise — Poth Acouth" to raise money for Acouth's family. The site describes Acouth as someone everyone knew as "genuine and loving."

Mayen and Acouth grew up together on Omaha's southern border with the suburb Bellevue, Mayen on the Omaha side of the street and Acouth on the Bellevue side of the street. Both left Sudan for refugee camps when they were about five years old. They were like brothers and both attended South High School in Omaha.

"I was there," Mayen said Monday. "I was the one shot in the foot. He wasn't even part of the altercation. When we were walking out, everything was already happening. He was shot in the back.

"It happened so fast. When the shooting started, everyone just dropped. I didn't even know I had been hit."

Another cousin of Acouth, Bejo Monydit, also was shot, Mayen said. The three of them, along with Dat and Doluony, were playing on a basketball team in a tournament sponsored by Minnesota State University and its South Sudanese Student Association.

Mayen didn't know why Doluony was arrested, but Dat was arrested because he lost his composure while talking to police officers. Gach was arrested because she was recording video of the incident, Mayen said.

"Everybody was mad and angry," Mayen said. "Dilang's emotions got the best of him."

The purpose of the event at the Kato Ballroom was to raise money for people in South Sudan. It's an annual event that hasn't resulted in any trouble in the past. Mayen said he and Acouth attended the event last year.

"That's the thing people don't get about this," Mayen said. "Everyone was thinking this was about gangs. We all had no idea what was going on. The fundraiser was our way of saying we're not about that. We want to help people."