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77-year-old Minn. man died of self-inflicted gunshot wound from gun owned by business, police say

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North Memorial Ambulance personnel roll out an empty gurney to a waiting ambulance Wednesday at Bill's Gun Shop and Range in Baxter. A man was declared deceased at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, using a rental gun inside the store. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Gallery and Video 2 / 2

The man who died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday at Bill's Gun Shop & Range in Baxter, Minn. has been identified.

Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted identified the man as 77-year-old Henry Plummer Thomas, of Brainerd, Minn. Exsted said Thomas used a firearm he rented from the business in the shooting.

Bill's Gun Shop & Range, off Excelsior Road near the intersection of Highway 371, is a gun shop/retail business with an indoor gun range. The gun range has 17 shooting lanes separated into two bays. Customers may either rent a firearm from the retail store or bring their own into the gun range, which is monitored by staff.

The Baxter Police Department was called at 1:59 p.m. for a report of a gunshot-related injury at the Baxter business. When officers arrived they found Thomas with a gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a North Memorial Ambulance crew and the body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office.

The manner of death will not be known until the final autopsy comes in, which could take up to six weeks, Exsted said. However, no foul play is suspected in the death.

Exsted was unable to release many details of the shooting, as police continue to investigate. Police could not comment on where the shooting took place—whether it was in the shooting range or the retail store portion of the building. Exsted said police are looking into whether Thomas had ever entered the gun shop before or if it was his first visit, as well as how long he was in the business before the shooting.

Exsted did confirm there was no altercation in the building before the shooting incident.

Police said no one else was hurt in the shooting incident.

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