Jake Zumberge posted about shotgun killings before dad allegedly shot neighbor with shotgun [UPDATE]
Jacob Zumberge's mugshot
:::: UPDATE :::: This afternoon, Paula Zumberge was charged with the same counts of second-degree murder and attempted murder her husband faces. Paula's counts pertain to "aiding and abetting" rather than the murder itself, but the consequences are the same. A Ramsey County Jail official says she's not in custody as of 4:25 p.m. this afternoon.
:::: UPDATE 2 (May 9) :::: Paula Zumberge has been arrested and is due in court today. Here's her mugshot. (h/t: Chao Xiong)
Original post -- When Neal Zumberge stormed out of his New Brighton basement with a 12-gauge shotgun and allegedly opened fire on his neighbors Monday evening, he was enraged because a police call they made landed his son in jail, authorities say.
Neal's son, Jake, was upset with his dad's neighbors -- Todd Stevens and his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Cleven -- because they were in the habit of feeding deer in their yard, and his dad had come down with a case of Lyme disease Jake blamed on the presence of the animals. So when Jake ran into Stevens and Cleven at a Spring Lake Park VFW on April 29, things got heated.
Neal Zumberge charged with murder for shooting neighbor over deer feeding dispute
A drunken Jake Zumberge approached Stevens and asked him to step outside for a conversation, according to a criminal complaint.
"Once outside, the defendant began to cry and yell, causing other bar patrons to ask him to leave," the complaint says. But a short time later, Zumberge reentered the bar.
"The defendant shoved [Stevens] in the back shoulder area, almost causing [him] to fall off his bar stool," the complaint continues. "The defendant then leaned in between [Stevens] and [Cleven] and told them that he was going to burn down their house and kill them... [Cleven] was afraid of the defendant and concerned he would act on his threats."
Stevens and Cleven called police to inform them of the incident, but Zumberge left the bar without being apprehended. So when they ran into him again Monday at Acapulco Restaurant in New Brighton, they called police, and Zumberge was arrested.
When Cleven returned home that night, she encountered a pissed off Paula Zumberge (Neal's wife and Jake's mother), who allegedly said, "You fucking bitch, you put my son in jail." Moments later Neal emerged out an egress basement window with his shotgun and opened fire while Paula yelled, "Shoot, shoot, shoot, keep shooting," according to the version of events put forward by prosecutors.
As of yesterday evening, Paula Zumberge still hadn't been charged with a crime. In fact, it's unclear if she's turned up at all following the shooting. A neighbor told authorities she saw Paula driving away from the scene, and New Brighton police never returned a message we left yesterday inquiring as to whether they know where she is.
But Neal Zumberge has been charged with both second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, and Jake has been charged with two felony counts of making terrorist threats and one count of fifth-degree assault.
Jake's Facebook page is public, and on February 16 he shared a post featuring a pro-gun newspaper clipping that uses a made-up story to make the point that guns don't kill people, people kill people. It's eerie in light of what his dad is accused to have actually done to his neighbors just a few months later.
(For more, click to page two.)
Here it is:
After both Zumberges were arrested, police found a Browning 12-gauge, semi-automatic shotgun in Neal's basement. It didn't contain any ammo, but four spent shotgun shells were found near Stevens's front door. Medical examiners say Stevens was shot in the head, chest, abdomen, and extremities.
To read the Jake Zumbrege criminal complaint for yourself, click to page three.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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