by Dennis Dalman
A 65-year-old St. Joseph man was charged in court Oct. 28 for wounding and attempting to kill his estranged wife during a high-speed chase and shooting rampage Oct. 25.
Gary Dennis Vogt appeared before Judge Davick-Halfen in Stearns County District Court, where he was charged with two felonies: attempted pre-meditated murder in the first degree and attempted murder in the first degree while committing a felony. Both counts carry a prison sentence of a maximum of 20 years.
Vogt remains in jail. His bail was set by the judge at $2 million for unconditional release and $1 million for conditional release.
The estranged wife, 63, is referred to in court documents only as “S.K.V.” She suffered gunshot wounds to her head and back in the incident. The injuries, treated at the St. Cloud Hospital, were not life-threatening.
The incident occurred about 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 during a chase involving the woman driving one vehicle and her estranged husband pursuing her and shooting at her from his pickup.
According to a Stearns County Sheriff’s Department report, the chase-and-shooting was reported by several motorist eyewitnesses who saw a car being pursued from CR 2 and then on CR 4 from St. Wendel Township (the Fisher Hill area) to west St. Cloud.
The chase and the sounds of gunfire were reported via several 911 calls. Witnesses said the pursuing pickup had repeatedly rammed the other car while they were both in motion.
After entering west St. Cloud, the pursuer once more rammed the woman’s vehicle at which time the woman stopped the car. The male driver then fired more shots toward the woman’s car, then drove off. He was stopped and apprehended by a Stearns County sheriff’s deputy shortly afterward near the Sauk River bridge.
In the meantime, witnesses stopped to help the woman before more law enforcement and the Gold Cross ambulance arrived. The woman was then taken to the hospital by ambulance. The husband was also taken to the hospital in an ambulance with law-enforcement escort.
A handgun was found in the man’s vehicle, the sheriff’s report noted.
Numerous witnesses have been interviewed by law enforcement. Anyone else who may have witnessed the incident is requested to call the sheriff’s department at 320-251-4240.
Assisting at the culmination of the incident were – besides the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department – the police departments of St. Joseph, Sartell, St. Cloud and Waite Park.
In an order of detention released on the afternoon of Oct. 28, it stated S.K.V. had recently left her husband and a harassment restraining order had been issued Oct. 22 to the man prohibiting him from having any contact with his estranged wife.
According to the order of detention, Vogt had told law enforcement after his arrest he had “snapped” and he “couldn’t take it anymore.”
Vogt’s next court appearance is set for 2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3.
photo courtesy of Stearns County Jail
Gary Dennis Vogt