Jana Shortal, KARE-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul
WATERTOWN TOWNSHIP, Minn. - A man whokilled his mother almost 18 years ago and has been hospitalized for mental illness is in jail, accused of possessing 13 firearms and ammunition.
Christian Oberender, 32, was arrested this week, but neighbors say he has been firing guns on his property in rural Carver County for years without getting the attention of law enforcement.
"The neighbors said they made numerous calls to the sheriff's department that a young man is out shooting a gun in the back yard," said David Marlette, Watertown-Mayer school superintendent. "I just think it took too long for someone to come and take his guns away." Oberender's father, Larry Oberender, served on the Watertown-Mayer school board from 1991 to 2008.
Authorities have been called to the Oberender home here 13 times since Feb. 16, 1995, Carver County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Kamerud said, including the call in which Mary Oberender was found shot five times with a shotgun.
Those calls ranged from property-damage reports, fire-alarm mishaps and one report in July of a person - neighbors say it was Christian Oberender - shooting guns.
Carver County investigators say Christian Oberender may have been able to purchase some of his 13 guns legally because his name didn't raise any red flags on a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension background check.
"When we ran his criminal history, it wasn't indicated that he should not be able to have firearms," Kamerud said.
County officials say they don't know what records were sent to the state in 1995 when Oberender shot his mother. Christian Oberender, an eighth-grader at the time, was 14 years old.
That was before fingerprints that are a part of the state's records went digital.
"The BCA relies on entities in the criminal justice system to provide data on an individual which then populates the individual's criminal history," Bureau of Criminal Apprehension officials said in a statement. "There were no data submitted to the BCA about this individual. Without it there can be no record."
After being convicted of killing his mother, Christian Oberender lived in treatment centers, some of them with prisonlike security, until he was 21. He then spent a year in a halfway house, according to an Associated Press report from 10 years ago. At the time, Oberender's doctor reported that the youth had severe mental problems, including potential schizophrenia.
Oberender is in jail now on $1 million bond because Sheriff Jim Olson remembered the 1995 case when he saw that a woman had filed a complaint accusing Oberender of posting pictures of himself with guns on Facebook, Kamerud said.
Investigators who arrested Oberender say they found an alarming note, written recently, in his bedroom:
"I feel the good part of me fade away. I don't know how long I can hold it in for. I think about killing all the time," the note said. "The monster want out. I know what happens when he comes out. He only been out one time and someone die. ... The monster want to hurt people. There is so much pain in my heart and soul. Me want others to feel it."