The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 22, 2014

Ballroom shooting suspect still at large

Police asking for public's help

MANKATO — Police are working to identify the man they believe shot and killed a 22-year-old Bellevue, Neb., man early Sunday morning outside the Kato Entertainment Center.

A news release issued Tuesday confirmed the man killed was Poth W. Acouth, a Sudanese refugee who had traveled to Mankato to participate in a Sudanese Student Association event sponsored by Minnesota State University. The release also said a provisional report from the Ramsey County medical examiner said the cause of death was a gunshot to the neck.

Deb McDermott, Mankato Department of Public Safety detective commander, said most of the people attending the event do not live in the area and have likely returned home. Investigators are reaching out to those people, hoping they will do the right thing and identify the suspect, she said. It's likely that man was from out of state and is no longer in the area.

Investigators have determined a man who was arrested with a gun after the incident, which was reported just before 2 a.m., had not fired that gun, McDermott said. He could face charges later, but investigators are focusing on the shooting suspect at this time.

"Due to the large number of people that were on scene at the time of the shooting, investigators are confident that there are several people who witnessed the person engage in the shooting," the release said. "Investigators are asking these people to do the right thing and come forward with their information to identify the shooter so that justice can be sought for the victim and his family."

Anyone with information is being asked to stop at the Public Safety Center at 710 S. Front St., call 911 or call 507-387-8780.

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