A Fergus Falls man allegedly shot his father to death with a high-powered rifle while his terrified mother barricaded herself in the family home Wednesday night. He eventually fled and was captured by authorities a short time later some 20 to 30 miles away.
Dustin M. Defiel, 28, is being held in the Otter Tail County jail on charges of second-degree murder, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The Ramsey County medical examiner identified the shooting victim as his father, Ricardo “Rick” Defiel, 57.
Dustin Defiel was uncooperative and unresponsive in court Friday afternoon, and deputies had to restrain him, according to WDAY TV. The judge ordered a mental evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial.
According to the criminal complaint: Officers went to the house in the 1900 block of East Main Street at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in response to a 911 call. The caller said her husband was dead and that her son had shot him. She said she locked herself in a bathroom and feared that her son was still in the house.
Officers found Ricardo Defiel lifeless on a bed with gunshot wounds to his back and head. The woman, identified in the criminal complaint only by her initials, was escorted safely from the house. No one else was home.
About the same time, police officers from nearby Battle Lake, Minn., spotted Dustin’s white Chevy Malibu and arrested him. A rifle with a mounted scope was found on the car’s passenger seat.
Defiel’s mother told authorities that her husband had gone to bed and she was watching TV when she heard the front door rattle. Dustin, wearing sunglasses, smiled and asked if he could do his laundry. He appeared “dirty and disheveled,” his mother said, adding that she hadn’t seen him for a month and had no idea where he had been.
She went upstairs to continue watching TV and was near a bathroom when she heard a loud pop. She heard Dustin yell, “Come out here” then asked him if he had just shot his father. She heard the action on the rifle open and close and ran into the bathroom and locked the door.
After a second shot, she heard Dustin walking around outside the bathroom door and begged him not to shoot her. When he walked away, she jumped out of the bathroom, got her cellphone, locked the bedroom and bathroom doors and called police.
Steven Kalenberg, the fiancé of Dustin’s sister, told authorities that the family has been terrified of Dustin Defiel. At one time, Ricardo Defiel had firearms in the house, but removed them because of Dustin. Kalenberg also said Dustin’s brother and sister were so afraid of him that they did not give out their home addresses or telephone numbers and had limited contact with him.
An investigator who spoke to Defiel shortly before midnight Wednesday found him calm and emotionless.
Defiel, according to court records and media accounts, has had run-ins with the law for theft, drunken driving and violation of a restraining order. He was the subject of several civil commitment hearings. He was arrested by West Fargo police in September of 2014 after a woman noticed him peeking into garages in her neighborhood.