Adult club owner’s longtime dispute with Minn. county ends in fatal courthouse shooting.


Shooting

Law enforcement personnel remain positioned outside the Morrison County Goverment Center

(Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch/AP Photos)

Gordon Wheeler Sr. clashed for years with Morrison County officials over the strip club and porn shop he once operated, but he wasn’t known as a violent man. So when he took a seat in the back row at a commissioners meeting, nobody paid much attention.

He sat quietly in his bib overalls, clutching a manila folder Tuesday as the board finished its agenda in this central Minnesota city 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

“He showed up midway through the meeting and didn’t say anything,” Commissioner Duane Johnson said. “When we adjourned, he said, `No, not yet,’ or something like that.”

Wheeler, 60, pulled a red handkerchief from his overalls, unwrapped it to reveal a handgun and began making demands, including a request to talk to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Authorities said he held the gun to the head of County Administrator Tim Houle at one point.

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