Pott Co. double shooting – addt’l. details released


June 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two people were shot early Friday morning in Pottawattamie County. Sheriff Jeff Danker 48-year old Patricia Harker, of rural Minden, suffered serious or critical injuries, after she was allegedly shot by her recent, former boyfriend. Danker says Harker and 27-year old Benjamin Shimmin, of Omaha, arrived at Harker’s home at around 2-a.m. Friday, after leaving a bar. 

50-year old Craig Finney, of Macedonia, who recently had a romantic relationship with Harker, arrived at her home and knocked on the door, at around 2:20-a.m. Danker says Harker told Shimmin to lock himself in the bathroom and call 911. Finney broke into the home and “a lot of yelling” ensued, including Finney demanding that Shimmin leave the bathroom. He allegedly fired a shotgun into the bathroom, but missed Shimmin.

Shimmin told authorities he then heard two other gunshots. One struck Harker in the shoulder. A third and final shot by Finney, apparently to his shoulder, was self-inflicted. Finney’s 25-year old son, Cody, told Pottawattamie County sheriff’s investigators that he saw his father after the incident and witnessed “a lot of blood.” Sheriff Danker says Finney fled from the scene after the shooting occurred.

The 2005 silver, Mercury Mountaineer he left in is owned by Evans & Evans, a soybean farming business in Oakland. Danker was unsure if Finney had a connection to the business.

Harker was critically injured and taken to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, before being transferred to the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, where she remained late Friday night. A report on her condition is not available.

Iowa court records indicate that a restraining order had been issued in July 2004 against Finney at the request of  Harker.  The order was rescinded four months later, and Finney received a deferred judgment on domestic abuse-aggravated assault charges in December 2004.

Finney may be armed. His whereabouts are currently unknown. If you see the SUV he was driving, with Iowa license plate 784-CJL, or come across a man with a severe shoulder wound, do not approach him. Instead, you should call 9-1-1. Finney is described as being a 5-foot 9-inch tall, 250-pound white male.