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MANKATO — A man was shot in the leg Sunday outside a Mankato apartment. The suspected shooter is in custody and says it happened accidentally.

Carter Allen Groen, 20, of Mankato, was charged with felony counts of reckless discharge of a gun and possession of a gun after a prior conviction Tuesday in Blue Earth County District Court. He also is charged with misdemeanor obstructing the legal process.

According to the court complaint and police report:

A witness called 911 around 11 pm. Sunday from The Quads apartment complex at Monks Avenue and Bunting Lane. The witness reported hearing a gunshot and someone screaming and then saw people loading something limp into the back of a car.

Officers stopped the car in the area and pulled Groen out of the driver’s seat as he resisted arrest.

A man in the backseat was bleeding from a gunshot wound and appeared to be in shock. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

A semiautomatic handgun was found in the car.

Groen gave conflicting accounts of what happened. Initially he claimed two people shot at him but hit the other man. The shooters dropped the gun and fled and he picked up the gun in case they came back, he said.

Later Groen said he picked up the gun to give to police and then claimed he took the gun so other people at the scene would not get in trouble.

Eventually Groen said he was play fighting with the other man, and if the gun went off, it was unintentional.

One person who was inside the residence said he heard Groen and the other man arguing and one say: “Let’s take this outside.” He then heard a scuffle outside, a gunshot and then the other man say something like: “Are you really going to do me this way?”

Another witness said he heard a scuffle, a gunshot and then the man who was shot say, “You hit me.”

Investigation of the incident is ongoing, a Mankato Department of Public Safety official said.

Groen is not allowed to touch a gun due to prior convictions, including a 2018 assault and threats involving a gun in Mankato for which he is on probation.

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