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Update: Alleged RF shooter bails out of jail

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crime and courts River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A 26-year-old River Falls man accused of fatally shooting his friend late Monday night, June 27, has paid $10,000 cash bail and was released from St. Croix County Jail in Hudson Thursday afternoon, June 30. Anthony P. Velure has been charged by the district attorney with first-degree reckless homicide, a felony punishable by up to 60 years in prison. Velure allegedly shot his buddy, Joshua R. Kurer, 24, 1473 Riverside Drive #202, at his apartment.

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Velure is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. Besides the cash bond, he was also required to sign a $10,000 signature bond.

According to the criminal complaint, Velure and Kurer knew each other from serving together in the Army National Guard in River Falls. That service included a tour of duty in Iraq.

Velure said the shooting was accidental. The weapon allegedly used belonged to Kurer and was a multi-caliber Taurus Judge handgun said to be originally loaded with three .410 shotgun rounds and three .454 caliber handgun rounds.

Velure thought he had emptied the six rounds of ammunition from the gun. The two men were in Kurer's second-floor apartment living room.

They had been drinking that day. Kurer became sick at a downtown bar earlier in the night and asked to leave.

Velure wanted to go out again. Kurer didn't want to.

According to the complaint, Velure, assuming the gun was empty, stood over Kurer who was lying on a loveseat, pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Allegedly Velure pulled the trigger a second time and the gun fired.

Velure told police he was probably one or two feet away from Kurer when the gun fired.

Kurer was hit in the chest. He soon became unresponsive while still able to just barely breathe. Efforts by Velure, a roommate and later police officers and ambulance paramedics failed to revive Kurer and he was pronounced dead.

The complaint makes reference to Velure and Kurer pointing guns at each other before and even pulling the trigger.

Velure, who works as a security guard for Northern Tier Energy of St. Paul Park, Minn., said he took hunter safety courses as a teenager and also firearm training in the military. He said he knew the rule about always treating a gun as if it were loaded.

Velure said he also brought his own gun, a .45 caliber stainless steel pistol, to Kurer's apartment that night. He visited a neighboring tenant and was allegedly brandishing the pistol. The tenant was nervous about that and asked Velure to either holster the gun or leave.

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Phil Pfuehler
Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
(715) 426-1050
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