A Minnesota man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly shouted Bible verses and shot a BB gun at a gay couple because they were holding hands.
Tyler Erickson told KMSP that he had worked security at the Saloon, a well-known gay bar in Minneapolis, for five years and had never seen the type of hate crime that occurred last Thursday night.
“Usually our issues are actually on the street, nothing to this extent,” Erickson said.
At around 10 p.m. on Thursday, 43-year-old Wayne Steven Odegard started harassing customers at the Saloon, Erickson recalled.
“He made a disrespectful comment towards the homosexual community, towards a couple that was holding hands and he obviously didn't appreciate that,” he explained.
According to Erickson, Odegard began yelling anti-gay slurs, and pulled out a CO2 powered BB gun.
“I ran after him and then it ended up he shot a different gay couple in the leg, with that gun and it went through his jeans and drew blood,” the security guard said.
Erickson was able to catch Odegard after a chase that lasted less than 30 feet. He then contacted the police.
“He told me multiple times that I'm going to go to hell and he's going to bring me with him,” Erickson noted. “He recited a biblical passage -- I think it's a deuteronomy passage.”
Many Christians believe that Deuteronomy condemns homosexuality as an abomination.
Erickson said that Odegard could have done a lot more damage with the BB gun.
“Even if the guy was shot with the same CO2 powered BB gun in the face it would've gone right through his cheek," he observed.
Odegard was being held in the Hennepin County Jail on weapons and assault charges. Records stated that he had not yet been formally charged with terroristic threats-reckless disregard. Bail was set at $75,000.