Arrest made in shooting case

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Staff Writer

POST FALLS — A 27-year-old Athol man was arrested for felony aggravated battery early Friday morning for allegedly shooting a 45-year-old Coeur d'Alene man multiple times during a domestic violence incident at a Post Falls apartment complex Thursday night.

Keven Carl Custer remained in custody at the Kootenai County Jail on $100,000 bond Friday afternoon for the incident that occurred at 8:04 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul's Ross Point East Apartments, 3843 E. Second Ave.

Chris Daniel Gunderson, whom Custer is accused of shooting, was in serious condition at Kootenai Health on Friday afternoon.

"There was a domestic dispute between the two of them," said Post Falls Police Capt. Greg McLean, adding that it appears a physical altercation broke out before the gunfire. "(Custer) was picking up property he'd left there."

McLean said Gunderson’s medical treatment at the hospital had precluded detectives from interviewing Gunderson as of Friday afternoon.

Custer was cooperative with investigators, McLean said.

A neighbor told police he heard about six shots in the apartment above him.

According to the police report, Custer told an officer, "I am the shooter."

The weapon was a Springfield XDS 9mm handgun.

Custer told police he arrived at his ex-girlfriend's apartment to pick up his belongings about 20 minutes before the alleged shooting.

He said "Gundy" exited the bathroom with a "drunk attitude," the police report states.

Custer said Gunderson told him multiple times to empty his pockets. When the pockets were emptied, they contained a magazine with eight rounds, a phone and wallet.

A witness told police that the conversation between Custer and Gunderson rose from calm to confrontational quickly and Gunderson reached into Custer's pockets forcefully to remove the contents. The witness said he observed fear in Custer's eyes and it appeared Gunderson was robbing Custer.

"Keven repeatedly asked Chris to let him leave the apartment to which Chris denied and forcefully held Keven in the residence against his will," the report states regarding the witness account. "Chris, with a closed fist, then struck Keven in the face and Keven fell backward against a wall and then to the ground. Chris lunged at Keven aggressively and Keven retrieved his pistol and fired … "

Custer said Gunderson shoved him and punched him in the mouth causing him to lose a tooth.

"He felt in danger for his life, so he grabbed his gun (out of his holster) and aimed it at Gundy and shot his weapon approximately six times," the police report states.

Custer told police that, if he aims his gun, it is to shoot and he was taught to "shoot until it is empty."

Custer declined medical attention at the scene but complained of pain to his jaw and advised he lost a tooth. He told police he used marijuana and methamphetamine in the past, but declined to provide further specifics.

A bystander told police that he and Gunderson had shared whiskey from a bottle before the shooting.

Custer told police he believed he had shot Gunderson three times, causing two gunshots to the front of his body and one gunshot to his body.

"When Chris fell to the ground, Keven exited the apartment complex, unloaded the firearm and called 911," the police report states. "After running out through the parking lot, he said he thought he should stop and he called 911 and waited for police."

When a detective asked Custer if, in hindsight, he thought he might only shoot once, Custer said he was taught "you shoot until the gun goes click (empty)."

The detective told Custer he was having a hard time understanding why Custer would have just bought the gun earlier in the day and take it loaded with a spare magazine to an apartment where he knew people didn't like him and may think he was a police informant.

"When I asked Keven if he felt his mind could be affected recently from synthetic substances, Keven agreed that he 'doesn't know what is real and what's not' but he said he was feeling in control tonight," the police report states.

A neighbor who assisted Gunderson after he'd been shot told police that Gunderson said he could see the shooting coming and that he "thought he was going to die."

Custer told police he wasn't supposed to be at the apartment because management had asked him to leave before. He said he carried the gun for "protection."

"Keven said he and Gundy don't get along and he knew Gundy doesn't like him and Gundy was following him around the apartment," the police report states.

A nephew of Gunderson, who declined to be identified, said his uncle underwent surgery again on Friday for multiple internal injuries including to his liver, kidneys, gallbladder and pancreas. He also suffered a broken jaw and leg, hip and arm injuries.

The nephew said he was upset that Custer doesn't face a stiffer charge for allegedly firing multiple times. McLean said aggravated battery was filed at the request of the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office.

Robert Dill, who lives across the street from the apartment complex, said he was surprised to see several emergency response vehicles on Second Avenue because he didn't hear any gunshots and added that the neighborhood has otherwise been "peaceful."

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