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Victim identified Dikken as shooter before he died

By Tom Cherveny

Forum News Service

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. – Andrew Dikken, arrested Tuesday after eluding authorities for two weeks, entered the home of Kara Monson in Granite Falls sometime after 3 a.m. on Sept. 2 and began shooting her and Chris Panitzke as they were sleeping in a bed, according to the allegations in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday. 

The complaint  filed Yellow Medicine County  District Court charges 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.

Monson died at the scene of multiple gunshots wounds, but Panitzke, 28, remained conscious and made the 911 call that summoned help. He told the first officers on the scene that Dikken had shot him and his girlfriend. He again identified Dikken as the assailant when questioned by another officer at the Granite Falls Hospital Emergency Room, where he had been taken for care, according to the complaint.

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

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

Officers arrived at the Monson home that Dikken once shared with her around 3:28 a.m. About that time, a video camera at a Casey’s convenience store about three blocks away captured images of him.

His 1996 GMC pickup was found Sept. 4 in a gravel pit off of Redwood County Road 7 near the Minnesota River.

Dikken was taken into custody about 3 p.m. Tuesday when he showed up at his parents' home in Renville, and they immediately turned him in to the Renville County Sheriff in Olivia. 

He is currently in custody at the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning in District Court in Granite Falls.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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