Belle man faces charges after report of shots fired

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 3/24/21

BELLE  — Derek P. Fann, 32, of Belle, was taken into custody and faces charges of assault and armed criminal action after witnesses say he took two shots with a rifle on Saturday at Kelly …

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Belle man faces charges after report of shots fired

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BELLE  — Derek P. Fann, 32, of Belle, was taken into custody and faces charges of assault and armed criminal action after witnesses say he took two shots with a rifle on Saturday at Kelly Griffith, who lives on Rt. D.

Cpl. Vince VanderFeltz responded to a call of shots fired and Griffith claimed it was Fann, who had allegedly fled the scene in a red minivan, which had stopped on the Rt. D.

Griffith said he and two witnesses, Randy Nachtigal and Marvin Rogers, were working on a tractor and were preparing to load it onto a trailer when he saw a red minivan stop on Rt. D in front of his residence. 

According to Griffith, the driver exited the van and shot at him twice, nearly hitting him and Nachtigal. 

Griffith said he was kneeling on the tractor’s seat and Nachtigal was standing at the front right corner of the tractor, at the front corner of the bucket-loader, when the shots were fired. Nachtigal told VanderFeltz he was hit in the face with shrapnel from the bullet hitting the tractor but did not sustain any serious injuries. Griffith said he jumped off the tractor for cover and likewise did not sustain any serious injuries.

An inspection of the tractor showed it had been shot in both the left and right rear tires. The shot at the right tire entered at the rear and exited the front, and the bullet continued towards the wood line beyond the tractor. The shot at the left tire entered from the rear and exited the front of the tire. That bullet then struck the vertical support of the bucket loader and fragmented. 

Nachtigal said he was standing at the front right of the tractor when the bullet went through the right tire.

Trajectory of the bullet confirms it came within inches of where Nachtigal claimed to have been standing.

Griffith showed VanderFeltz how he remembered being  positioned on the tractor seat when the first shot was fired. Griffith said he jumped off the tractor after the first shot and was also standing next to the left tire when the suspect fired a second time. 

Griffith recalled hearing who he recognized as Fann yelling as he dove for cover. 

He said could not see the shooter clearly at that time. 

According to the report, VanderFeltz observed two empty .25-06-caliber Hornady shell casings on Rt. D, near the driveway to Griffith’s residence. He noted the shell casings were in line with a break in the shrubbery along Griffith’s property line, in a direct line of sight with and approximately 50 yards away from the tractor.

Rogers said he was on the other side of the shop, but that he saw a maroon minivan speeding away after he heard the two shots. Rogers said he saw Fann driving a maroon van on the evening of Friday, March 19.

Griffith said Fann came to his residence between 7 and 8 p.m. Friday. Rogers said he was outside when Fann pulled in the driveway, asking to speak to Griffith. Rogers said Fann was driving a maroon minivan but was not sure of the make or model. Rogers told VanderFeltz he took Fann into the residence, at which time Griffith told Fann to get out of his house and never return. Fann reportedly left without incident. 

Griffith provided VanderFeltz surveillance footage of the incident. Griffith has five cameras around his residence, one of which is on the front of his house, pointed down the driveway. Another camera is along the side of his house, aimed at where the tractor is parked. 

The camera was on low-light mode and was in black-and-white but VanderFeltz observed a Dodge Caravan enter and park in Griffith’s driveway. The driver is then seen exiting the vehicle, going beyond the range of the camera and leaving a few minutes later. The driver was a white male between 5-foot-6 and six feet tall, heavier set, wearing a light-colored hoody and dark pants, with dark hair,and a dark ball cap. 

Griffith also showed VanderFeltz the footage of the shooting. He observed a maroon Dodge Caravan traveling east on Rt. D. The vehicle slowed to a stop just east of Griffith’s driveway. The driver reversed and stopped at the entrance of the driveway, then got out with a long gun in his hands. 

VanderFeltz noted the firearm appeared to be a bolt-action-style hunting rifle with a scope. In the video, the suspect is seen beginning to walk around the gate before changing direction and heading east along the edge of the road. The suspect then stopped, just behind some bushes, where he was concealed from view of the camera. 

VanderFeltz observed smoke coming from the rifle, and then the suspect moved a few feet up the road before going back to the vehicle and leaving eastbound on Rt. D. The suspect in the video matched the height and weight of the same subject identified as Fann from March 19 surveillance. The suspect was also driving the same make and model of vehicle as Fann had allegedly driven the previous evening. VanderFeltz observed the suspect was wearing dark pants, a blaze-orange hoody, and a dark-colored hat. The suspect was a white male, appeared to be in his mid-30s, weighing approximately 250 pounds, with dark hair and some facial hair. With statements from Griffith and Roger and the video surveillance footage, VanderFeltz believed the suspect to be Derek Fann.

VanderFeltz requested that Osage County 911 broadcast an attempt-to-locate message to all surrounding agencies. Maries County deputies located Fann at his residence in Belle, and VanderFeltz arrived at the scene and placed Fann under arrest. He observed that Fann was wearing the same blaze-orange hoody and dark hat as he saw in the surveillance video. 

VanderFeltz also observed a maroon Dodge Caravan parked in the lot near Fann’s apartment. 

After advising Fann of his Miranda Rights, Fann reportedly said he knew nothing about any of the accusations and he had been home all day. Fann also allegedly denied owning any guns, but a Maries County deputy said there was a rifle case in Fann’s minivan. VanderFeltz used the key located in Fann’s pants pocket to unlock the vehicle and secure the rifle, a Remington model 700 bolt-action rifle chambered for .25-06 caliber.

VanderFeltz secured the rifle as evidence and searched the vehicle for any other firearms or ammunition but found no additional evidence.

Fann was transported to the Osage County Jail and held for 24 hours, pending charges. 

During the drive to the jail, VanderFeltz said, Fann indicated he believed Griffith was responsible for poisoning a well at a residence he used to live at, causing him and his family to get cancer. He reportedly further said he had video surveillance to back his claims before clarifying that he did not have any evidence himself, but the federal government has the footage from drones and satellites. 

VanderFeltz attempted to interview Fann at the jail, but he asked for an attorney. Reportedly, Fann did admit he was the owner of the Remington rifle, which was passed down to him by his father. 

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