A Coeur d’Alene man accused of shooting another man in the back was charged with aggravated battery Monday.
Jeffrey Strouse shot Michael Gunderson in the buttocks at close range with a sawed-off shotgun Saturday, according to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s report.
Gunderson had to be rushed into surgery after the pellets lodged in his lower abdomen. By Monday, the 33-year-old Coeur d’Alene man had improved from critical to serious condition, according to a Kootenai Medical Center spokesman.
Strouse, a 31-year-old electrical contractor, has a history of weapons and drug charges. He was scheduled to begin serving a five-day jail sentence for assault at the end of this week.
Strouse and Gunderson have known each other for about seven years, said Detective Jerry Wiedenhoff.
Strouse was angry because Gunderson had accused him of molesting a child, according to a sheriff’s report.
On Saturday, Gunderson went to visit a friend, Mathew Coleman, who is living on Strouse’s property in an area off Wolf Lodge Creek Road, the detective said.
When the two men saw Jeff Strouse driving toward them Gunderson ran and hid. Strouse then got out of his vehicle, grabbed a sawed-off shotgun and started searching for him.
Strouse found Gunderson hiding under a truck nearby and pointed the shotgun at Gunderson’s head, Coleman told sheriff’s officials.
Gunderson crawled out from under the truck and started to walk away. Strouse followed, pointing the shotgun at Gunderson’s back, the detective said.
Strouse then fired one shot into Gunderson’s right buttock, according to the sheriff’s report.
Strouse helped get the man to the hospital. He turned himself into the sheriff’s department on Sunday.
He will not speak to sheriff’s officials, but Strouse’s father told sheriff’s officials the shooting was an accident.
“Strouse told him that something went wrong with the gun or it went off accidentally,” Detective Wiedenhoff said.
On Monday, Strouse was charged with aggravated battery. He is being held in the Kootenai County Jail on $25,000 bail.