A man wanted in connection with a late May shooting in Stearns County was arrested near Hillman, June 3.
According to a statement by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Trenell Earl Rogers, 34, Moose Lake, was taken into custody when he was located at a home at 17589 Ranch Road in Leigh Township, about 2.5 miles northwest of Hillman. The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, Morrison County SWAT Team, Pierz Police Department, Pierz Fire and Rescue and Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force all assisted in carrying out the warrant that led to Rogers’ arrest.
Rogers was wanted in connection with a shooting that occurred near Sartell in LeSauk Township in northwest Stearns County, May 25. The warrant was for first degree assault, second degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm — all felonies — after Rogers allegedly shot a 57-year-old Sartell man in the neck.
According to the official criminal complaint, on May 25, law enforcement responded to River Oaks Lane in Stearns County after receiving a report that a male subject was in injured in the neck and head area after being shot. When law enforcement arrived, they found the victim lying in the driveway in “a large pool of blood and losing consciousness.” They also observed he had a bullet would in his neck.
Witnesses at the scene said Rogers shot the victim in the neck during an argument. Rogers was on scene when law enforcement arrived and provided three separate statements with conflicting portions in each. Law enforcement later learned that Rogers was the person who called 911 to report the incident, though he did not provide dispatchers with his name and was hesitant to provide accurate details.
During one statement, Rogers allegedly told law enforcement that “a random individual” shot the victim and fled the scene. Through investigation and review of video evidence, it was a determined that was a lie. Law enforcement also learned later that Rogers came back to the residence after law enforcement left the scene, went to a secluded area of the property by the river, retrieved something from the ground and then immediately left.
Law enforcement was unable to located the firearm and determined there was a time lapse of about eight minutes between when the shooting occurred until the 911 call was made.
According to the complaint, medical personnel at the St. Cloud Hospital performed surgery on the victim to save his life. He was required to be placed on a ventilator to help with his breathing. He received significant injuries to his neck and hand.
A statement from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said investigators working in conjunction with the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office learned Rogers was at the northeast Morrison County address during the early morning hours, June 3. At about 11 a.m., they executed a search warrant and took Rogers into custody. He was transported immediately to the Stearns County Jail on the previously mentioned charges.
Chad David Wenz, 38, New London, was also arrested at the scene for fifth degree possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to the Morrison County Jail after being present during the search warrant and found to be in possession of a suspected narcotic, according to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.