The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 27, 2014

Father: Fatal shooting involved custody dispute

Douglas County deputy wearing bulletproof vest

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) — A man who authorities say shot a sheriff's deputy in Minnesota before killing his girlfriend and then himself was likely motivated by a child custody dispute, his father said.

Jeff Blowers said his son, Devin Blowers, was distraught because child welfare officials in Fargo, N.D., wouldn't let his son and girlfriend Katie Ray Christopherson have custody of their baby girl.

Blowers tells the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1jCRnVa ) his son has a history of drug problems and met Christopherson at a Fargo rehabilitation center last year. They were released in July and their daughter was born three months prematurely on Jan. 13, Blowers said.

Devin Blowers shot Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Dustin Alexander in the chest at a farm near Alexandria in west-central Minnesota Monday night, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigated the incident.

Alexander was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and was recovering. The deputy had responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the property. Blowers, 24, later fatally shot Christopherson before taking his own life, the BCA said.

"She called her mother the day before and he called us, saying he was going to commit suicide," said Devin's father, in Minot, N.D. "They wouldn't tell us where they were so we could go get them."

After Alexander was shot, he returned fire and Blowers and Christopherson fled in their vehicle. When they got stuck in the snow about 50 to 60 yards away, the two ran away, authorities said. About four hours later law enforcement officers located Christopherson and Blowers deceased near an outbuilding on the property, the BCA said. A handgun and a shotgun were found nearby.

Jeff Blowers said he was "just shocked" by his son's violent outburst.

"He was a good man and this was totally off the wall for him," Blowers said. He hopes to adopt his orphaned granddaughter.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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