Woman shot in Pine County, texts for help; ex kills himself

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 7:58 PM

A man shot his ex-wife in the chest and then killed himself during a standoff with sheriff's deputies in Pine County, authorities said Thursday.

The violence unfolded Wednesday night at the woman's home in the 29200 block of Sunny Hill Road, about halfway between Pine City and Hinckley in Pine County.

The Sheriff's Office identified the shooter as Daniel Shilts, 55, and his ex-wife as Dawn Christen, 55. Authorities have yet to say what led to the bloodshed, but said Christen had texted a friend for help while bleeding from the wound in her chest.

Christen later was hospitalized at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth and was in serious condition, the Sheriff's Office said.

Shilts broke into the home and confronted Christen when she showed up, according to the Sheriff's Office, which added that there "were no active restraining or protection orders against" the ex-husband.

According to Pine County authorities:

Deputies from Pine and Chisago counties went to the house about 9:15 p.m.

Shilts was spotted on the front deck, but disobeyed orders to move away from the home so deputies could reach Christen. He retreated inside and began turning off lights.

Pine County SWAT team members eventually entered the house and cornered Shilts as he sat on the living room couch. He had a pistol to his head and was threatening suicide.

They tried for two hours to persuade the man to surrender, but he fatally shot himself and died as deputies came to his aid.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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