Grand jury indicts two in shooting

by Jim Boyle

A Sherburne County grand jury issued an indictment Nov. 3, charging Matthew William Morse with assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, and possession of a pistol after a crime of violence conviction.

Sherburne County Attorney Kathleen Heaney convened the grand jury on Nov. 2 to inquire into a shooting that occurred at a private residence at 611 Fourth St. in Elk River on Sept. 27.

She made the decision in part because Morse, 34, claims he fired his gun in self-defense.

The grand jury also issued an indictment charging Michael Travis Bergquist with two counts of burglary in the first degree, felony assault in the fifth degree, and trespass. Bergquist is the man who was shot.

The presentation of evidence and the grand jury’s deliberations occurred over the course of two days.
Morse and Bergquist made their first appearance on the Nov. 3 indictment at the Sherburne County

Government Center in Elk River on Nov. 7. The next court date for both Morse and Bergquist is 8 a.m. Nov. 16.

The case was investigated by the Elk River Police Department and Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.

Morse, of Elk River, told police he was acting in self-defense when he fired a 9 mm pistol at a person in his home Sept. 27.

Morse was charged with assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon and fifth-degree possession of a marijuana on Sept. 30 in Sherburne County 10th District Court in Elk River.

In a statement of probable cause, police laid out a case for a drug deal gone bad when the victim allegedly entered the home and was shot in the abdomen.

In the course of investigating the matter, the Elk River police determined that numerous people lived at 611 Fourth St. including Morse, who turned himself in the morning after the Sept. 27 shooting.

The victim was reportedly one of four individuals who showed up at the home that night to purchase drugs. Once at the residence, one of the four individuals reportedly went inside and bought a controlled substance for $30 from an occupant in the residence.

When he returned to the vehicle, one of the individuals in the vehicle reportedly became angry because he did not feel they got what they paid for.  The one who bought the drugs told police he went back into the residence to try and get his money back, according to the criminal complaint.

While he was in the residence, he said he could hear the person who was upset yelling outside the residence. He said he then heard the door of the residence being kicked in and he hid in the home.

He told police he heard a gunshot about 15 seconds later. He then discovered the person he came to the house with had been shot.

When police arrived, the victim told police he had shot himself. He was then airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale to be treated for a gunshot wound.

Morse turned himself in at 7:25 a.m. Sept. 28. He told police he lived at the residence and has his own bedroom there that has a dead bolt and padlock locks on the outside of the door.

He told police that about 10 p.m. on Sept. 27 he heard someone trying to break into the residence. He stated he started to go toward the front door when he heard glass break.

He said he then went and grabbed a 9 mm pistol from his room.

He stated an individual he didn’t know entered the home and chased him around the residence, but did not say anything.

Ultimately, he said the person chased him out onto the deck of the residence. He told police he turned and shot the person. He said he aimed for the bigger section of the person, who police determined to be about 15 feet away from him.

Morse said he hid the pistol in the rafters of a basement laundry room and ran from the residence.
Police located two small bags containing a powdery substance in a wooden box on a night stand in the defendant’s bedroom. The contents tested positive for methamphetamine.