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Woman accused of trying to shoot trooper outside Moorhead charged with attempted murder

Melody Gray

MOORHEAD – A woman accused of trying to shoot a Minnesota State Patrol trooper in the head near Moorhead faces felony charges of attempted murder, receiving stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a Clay County District Court filing made Thursday, March 8.

Melody Victoria Gray, 30, of Milwaukee, Wis., who was shot in the arm by Trooper Mark Peterson during the incident Monday, March 5, was hospitalized at Essentia Health hospital in Fargo for treatment of her wound. As of Thursday afternoon, she was not being held at the Clay County Jail.

According to court documents and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension:

Peterson stopped to help Gray, 30, and her male passenger, Domonique Maurice Crayton, 29, also of Milwaukee, who had been in a car that had slid into the median a few miles east of Moorhead on Monday, March 5.

The time was about 10:10 a.m. Monday, court documents said. The car, which was westbound before the crash, came to a stop facing east against the median barrier, the BCA said.

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Peterson activated his squad car camera to capture video and audio, court documents said. In checking the identification of the passengers and the vehicle identification number of the car, Peterson learned the car had been reported stolen in Germantown, Wis., he positioned his squad car to prevent the disabled car from driving away. Then Peterson then asked Crayton to get out of the car, the BCA said.

As Peterson tried to handcuff Crayton, Gray got out of the driver’s seat and, with her right arm extended, pointed a 9mm handgun at the trooper’s head and appeared to pull the trigger, court documents said.

The gun, however, did not fire. The trooper then pulled himself and Crayton away toward the back of the car, and put Crayton to the ground, court documents said.

Meanwhile, Gray tried to manipulate the handgun to chamber a round and raised the gun again toward the trooper. The trooper then fired his weapon and hit her in the right arm, court documents said.

Gray then dropped the gun, ran across I-94 and north into a field, court documents and the BCA said. A snowplow clearing the westbound lanes stopped about 50 yards past the incident scene.

Trooper Peterson handcuffed Crayton and left him on his stomach behind the car. Peterson then ran to the snowplow and recovered a gun, which was under the plow, the BCA said.

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Meanwhile, Gray had collapsed in the field. Other officers from the State Patrol, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and Fargo and Dilworth police departments arrived at the scene and took Gray into custody, the BCA said.

Gray was removed from the field and given medical attention until an ambulance arrived, the BCA said. She was taken by ambulance to Essentia for treatment, the BCA said.

Peterson was not injured, the BCA said. The shooting incident was captured on squad car video, but there was no body camera video, the BCA said.

Crayton appeared in court Wednesday, March 7, on felony charges of first-degree damage to property and receiving stolen property (a motor vehicle), as well as misdemeanor counts of giving a peace officer false information and obstructing the legal process.

Crayton is also being sought by Milwaukee County, Wis., authorities on a warrant for felony charges of kidnapping, human trafficking, second-degree sexual assault and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Bail tied to the Milwaukee County warrant was set by the judge at $100,000 cash or bond. For the Clay County charges, bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond without conditions, or $30,000 with restrictions on travel and maintaining good behavior.

A court date has not been set for Gray.

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