Man pleads guilty to shooting out store windows

Published 9:08 am Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bradley David Tate, 41, of Austin pleaded guilty to terroristic threats-reckless disregard, first-degree criminal damage to property-value reduced over $1,000 and attempted escape from custody, all felonies, as part of a plea agreement on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

Charges of felony second-degree assault-dangerous weapon, gross misdemeanor fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor carry pistol without a permit-first offense, gross misdemeanor user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and firearm ammunition, and misdemeanor carrying a pistol while under the influence of a controlled substance will be dismissed at the sentencing as part of the agreement.

Court documents state officers were called at 6:09 a.m. on Feb. 22 to the 1100 block of Second Avenue Southwest after a woman reported that Tate had walked into her home and told her that someone was trying to kill him. She also reported Tate was carrying an assault rifle. Officers ordered Tate out of the residence and saw that he was wearing body armor and was armed with a knife, two 9mm pistols, and the rifle, which was loaded with .300-caliber ammunition.

Ralph Donkers, owner of Donkers Hometown Appliance cleans glance from the doors after they were shot out in February. Herald file photo

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Tate told police he resided next door with his girlfriend and that a man was inside his house trying to kill him. He also indicated he had fired several rounds from the rifle inside the house. Officers noted that Tate appeared hysterical and suspected he was under the influence of methamphetamine. They secured the firearms and placed Tate in a squad car.

Bradley David Tate, 41

Police searched Tate’s home and found no one inside. While clearing the house, officers found spent .300-caliber shell casings on the living room couch.

Employees at Donkers Hometown Appliances contacted police at about 7:30 a.m. that morning after observing the front door windows broken. Police found bullet holes inside the store and spent shell casings outside. The damage was estimated to be over $1,000.

Tate told police that he had used methamphetamine that morning and had fired shots at Donkers. He was then transported to the Mower County Jail.

During an interview, Tate told detectives he was using $25 worth of methamphetamine per day. He said he was previously employed at Donkers, but fired because of his drug habit and poor work performance.  He also said he and his girlfriend had used methamphetamine the night before into the early morning and they got into a fight after he accused her of having an affair with the man he thought wanted to kill him. Tate also admitted to firing the rifle inside the house and that he fired shots at Donkers in hopes of setting off an alarm to draw a police presence. When that did not work, he ran to his neighbor’s house and had her call the police.

Police then spoke to Tate’s girlfriend by telephone. She said she was out of town because she was “terrified” from the incident and did not know if it was safe to return to the house. She reported that Tate went from “completely normal” to hallucinating that he was seeing people at the door and pointed the rifle at her twice. She attempted to leave, but said Tate prevented her by slamming the door on her arm and wrist. When asked why she did not call the police, she alleged that Tate broke her phone.

A Mower County detention sergeant reported to Chief Deputy Mark May that Tate attempted to escape during the afternoon of Feb. 24. The sergeant said he was working in the intake area when he went into Tate’s cell to change a bandage on Tate’s arm. Per Tate’s request, the sergeant brought him some books. Tate then pushed past the sergeant as he exited the cell and ran into the main intake area, where he was stopped and taken back to the cell.