by Dave Kolpak
FARGO, ND (AP) — A 35-year-old man with a long criminal record was charged Thursday with three counts of shooting a man and a woman eight months pregnant at a Fargo factory.
Anthony Reese Jr., of Moorhead, Minnesota, is charged with the murders of 43-year-old Richard Pittman, 32-year-old April Carbone, and their unborn child, following an argument Wednesday in Holistic America. He made his first court appearance Thursday, where a judge set his bond at $2 million and set a preliminary hearing for December 16.
If convicted of murder, Reese faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. At Thursday’s hearing his public defender, Eric Thomas, told The Associated Press he could not comment on the matter while it is ongoing.
Factory workers told police that Pittman and Carbone were dating and that she was expecting a baby girl, whom they planned to name Layla.
Police responded to several 911 calls on Wednesday afternoon reporting an active shooter and searched for victims. Carbone died on the spot and Pittman was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Officials said Pittman, Reese and another employee, Pourdey Kegbeh, were involved in a brawl on the factory floor prior to the shooting. Management ordered Reese to leave the business, but he returned a short time later and confronted Pittman, Kegbe said.
Kegbeh told police that Reese pulled out a pistol before Pittman turned and shot Pittman several times and fired several shots at Carbone.
Police said Reese then went to the Fargo Police Department and turned himself in. He told officers that he had lost the gun in a residential neighborhood, and investigators later found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Detectives also recovered several 9mm cartridge shells at the crime scene.
Shooting was not Reese’s first brush with the law. In 2014, he was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Benton County, Minnesota, and was to be registered as a sex offender by 2029. He has also been convicted of domestic assault, illegal gun possession, selling and possessing illegal drugs, and contravention. No contact order.