WATERTOWN, S.D. Tonight, a Watertown man is in custody after a shooting left his friend dead. Police arrested Donald Herron, 30, on charges of 1st-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.
The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning at a home near downtown Watertown. One woman who knew the suspect and the victim can't believe what happened.
The Watertown Police Department was called to 600 block of 1st Avenue NW after receiving a call from Herron saying his roommate, 30-year-old Seth Murray, had been shot. Murry had sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
Neighbors aren't sure how to feel after the incident.
"I don't know. You know, there's so many emotions running through my head right now between wanting to cry, wanting to throw up, wanting to... I don't even know what I want. I feel horrible for Seth's family, I feel horrible for our family, you know? I don't know," Neighbor Mary Erickson said.
Erickson is also the landlord of the home where the shooting happened, but has a family connection to Herron.
"His dad was my aunt and uncle's guardian when he was a kid," Erickson said. "They've since moved to Oklahoma and he's been back here maybe 10 or 12 years."
Herron and Murray were rommates for the past three years.
"They were both good guys, but they both drank and they both liked guns," Erickson said.
The bitter cold made work especially difficult for officials from the Watertown Police Department and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation on Friday.
"So going in and out of the house and there is no heat inside this residence, which is kind of unique. So they're working in some bitter cold temperatures to process these things and it's taking them a little while to get done," Watertown Police Department Sgt. Troy VanDusen said.
As for a motive, investigators say this could have been an accident.
"It appears that with the charge of 1st-degree manslaughter, subsection 3 is what we're looking at and that's defined as without any design to effect death, which would lead us to the fact that perhaps they were messing around with a handgun and it went off and hit our victim," Sgt. VanDusen said.
Erickson says it's a sad day for everyone.
"It's an unfortunate deal.. I don't know," Erickson said.
Herron is currently being held at the Codington County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond. His court date has not been set.