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Dodge Center Shooting Suspect Being Evaluated

Posted at: 11/15/2012 8:07 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2012 10:15 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen

(ABC 6 News) -- On Thursday afternoon, gunshots rang out prompting police from across the area to respond to a Dodge Center neighborhood. A long time Dodge Center man scared neighbors when he began firing a high powered rifle outside his duplex .

Relatives of the man say they’re shocked at what happened. The suspect's cousin, who identified him as, Roger “Rocky” Papenfus, says he's a nice guy who'd never intentionally hurt someone. As Papenfus was placed in a Dodge County sheriff's car, neighbors and friends couldn't believe what had happened.

"We're pretty shook-en up. I'm really just shocked about the whole situation because this is not- this is not Rocky at all," says his friend, Sheri Mcgoan.

Dodge County Jim Jensen says just before noon on Thursday, Rocky was outdoors, firing shots with a high-powered rifle.

"He was shooting, not at anybody, but he was still shooting the rifle," says Jensen. The Sheriff says he's known Rocky for years. As soon as the shooting began, he called Rocky and tried to convince him to surrender. When that didn't work he reached out to a neighbor and Rocky's brother.

"They convinced him to come out. He said he'd come out lay the rifle and then sit down," says Jensen.

As he was being escorted out, Jensen asked him why he did this.

"He wanted to get some attention. He believes that this country is under attack, so that's why we're trying to get him some help right now," says Jensen.

But friends and neighbors say there's a darker reason this may have come about. Several years ago, they say Rocky's son committed suicide around this time of year.

"It was devastating as a parent would be. I mean, it takes a while to get over something, and you don't ever get over it. It's something that will carry with you forever," says Mcgoan.

Jensen says Rocky is being evaluated at Saint Marys Hospital. No one was hurt and charges are still pending as deputies continue their investigation.