Sandstone man, 75, used gun to fend off drug-seeking burglars, authorities say

Categories: Crime, Guns
GypsyWatts.jpg
Both Gypsy Watts (pictured) and his alleged teen accomplice have criminal records.
-- Correction at bottom --

A 16-year-old boy from Markville, Minnesota, faces first-degree burglary charges in connection with a home invasion that culminated in the death of his gun-toting accomplice.

SEE ALSO: Byron Smith murder case: Was he under threat of great harm when he shot teenagers?

Authorities say the boy and Gypsy Watts, 23, broke into 75-year-old Charles Carlson's Sandstone house around 2 a.m. last Thursday in search of prescription drugs and whatever else they could get their hands on. But the attempted burglary ended in Watts's death after the cancer-stricken Carlson broke out a gun of his own.

The robbery scheme was allegedly hatched earlier that night at a party where Watts and the 16-year-old discussed the likelihood of Carlson having drugs and money in his house. The two commandeered a van owned by another party-goer and took off for Carlson's Fox Road place.

KARE 11, citing charges filed Friday, details authorities' version of happened from there:
Carlson told investigators he was sleeping on the porch when he was startled awake, looked up, and saw a man walking out of the porch and into his kitchen. He says he walked into the kitchen to see what was going on and saw a man, now identified as Watts, pointing a gun at his head. Carlson says he pretended to be blind and hard of hearing to buy himself some time, and at one point saw [the 16-year-old suspect] run out of the house...

Carlson told detectives that Watts lowered his gun and began talking, allowing him time to grab his own handgun. He pointed the Glock 9mm at Watts and told him to get on his knees with his hands behind his head. Watts complied, but eventually stood up and began walking towards the elderly man.

It was then that Carlson shot Watts in the leg. The homeowner maintains that Watts ran out of the house, then turned and pointed the gun at him again. Carlson says he then fired the fatal shot that struck Gypsy Watts in the head.
Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole spoke with Carlson and told Fox 9, "He feels terrible."

"He's an old guy. He's a guy that I know," Cole continued. "He's a nice guy, and it's a terrible thing to have to do this."

WDIO reports that Carlson has prescriptions to relieve pain related to a cancer diagnosis.

The teen suspect turned himself in on Friday, but the KARE report details how he reacted immediately after the botched burglary:
The teen says he ran from the home after Carlson woke up and pointed a gun at his friend, ran to the van which was parked nearby, and escaped the scene. He later abandoned the van, ran back to the party and told others about what had happened.

The 16-year-old told investigators he gave Carlson's $100 bill to a friend, who took it to a local convenience store for change.
Pine County Chief Deputy Sheriff Steven Blackwell told the Star Tribune all indications are that Carlson acted lawfully.

"We're not finding anything that would indicate any wrongdoing on the homeowner's part," he said.

-- Correction -- An earlier version of this piece misidentified the Pine County town in which Carlson's home is located.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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26 comments
TC4L
TC4L

The best robberies are old people.  They have that 19" color tv and 1973 record player.  My favorite elderly home robberies consists of puzzle boards.  I love me some old ass puzzles.  Then the medicine.  The medicine is the best.  I have a healthy heart but to take heart medicine anyway and go through the side effects.  It's great.

takeaction41
takeaction41

Kudos Carlson for thinning out the herd. This guy can't hurt anyone anymore. Don't mean to sound uncaring but when it comes down you or him make sure it's you.

Mike Skeels
Mike Skeels

It would save the taxpayers a lot of money in future incarceration cost if the guy would have just shot them...

Katie Dugal
Katie Dugal

Christian my mother said the exact same thing!

CITYRIDERRT19
CITYRIDERRT19

This guy should teach a gun safety class to the sppd, perfect aim.

Heather Jo
Heather Jo

This was actually not in Pine City, but in Sandstone, which is in Pine County.

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Let's charge the suspects parents. too, please.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

I commend you Democrats for even publishing such an article.   It's actually quite amazing, i cant believe what i am reading.  None the less, credit given where credit deserved.    Now, lets arm some people in schools so our kids don't keep getting shot-up.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@TC4L They're looking for the painkillers.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Mike Skeels 

Do you know how we know you didn't read the story before commenting?

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Digital is always on the freeloaders side.   He has a problem with justice.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124 You have a pretty distorted view of liberals and probably the world in general, Kurt. I'm a Democrat and I think Mr. Carlson should get a reward of some type for taking this guy out - he saved the taxpayers a lot of money in court and incarceration costs for this POS.  Most libs believe that a person has a right to defend themselves in their own home. You just don't need a military grade machine gun to do it as Mr. Carlson just proved.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Holy fuck you're a moron.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Jack Skagnetti 

idiot.

read the story.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@kurt124 no i think its cool the old man got to taste what killing is like before his demise. live by the gun die by the gun...someone always dies


its actually a poetic story i feel

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Drewey I knew the F word would come out from one of you Nutter Lefty Libs.   I see it bothers you that someone defended their safety.  Now go watch a partial birth abortion to make yourself  feel better.    

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Well, I'll give you one thing... You sure are eager to prove my point for me. Thank you for that

DaveTheDopeFiend
DaveTheDopeFiend

@kurt124 Personally, I only like watching partial birth abortions while getting gay married by a Muslim cleric paid for by my unemployment checks. We nutty lefter libs are just terrible, aren't we? (In other words, go fuck yourself, concern troll -- fuckity fuck fuck!)

_Joe_
_Joe_

@kurt124 @Drewey 

Daily carry Democrat here.  I too think you're a moron.  But I didn't say fuck -  Awww dammit.

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