"I am not a monster," said Dale S. Hausner in a jailhouse interview Sunday with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I feel very sorry for the families of the people who were hurt, but I didn't do it."
Hausner, 33, said the other man arrested for the crimes — Samuel John Dieteman — might have taken Hausner's car and guns to commit the crimes.
Hausner said his brother introduced him to Dieteman, 30, six months ago. About a month ago, he said he let Dieteman move into his apartment because he felt sorry for a guy with no job or home.
Dieteman declined to be interviewed by the Press. The sheriff's department has not yet responded to requests from The Associated Press for interviews with the men.
Hausner told the newspaper he believes Dieteman implicated him in the killings to deflect blame, though he said he's not sure Dieteman is capable of such violence. Hausner said he had not suspected Dieteman was involved.
Hausner said Dieteman didn't have weapons of his own, as far as he knows. Now, Hausner said, he wonders and worries about whether Dieteman used Hausner's firearms and car during the killing spree.
Dieteman, 30, and Hausner, 33, face two counts each of first-degree murder and 14 counts each of attempted first-degree murder. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Aug. 14.
Overall, they are being investigated in 36 shootings, including 17 that targeted people and others that involved animals.
Police who interviewed Dieteman said the two took turns shooting people in the city over the course of more than a year.
They said Dieteman, a burly electrician with a ragged mop of jet black hair, would blast at lone pedestrians from the window of a silver Toyota Camry in what he called "random recreational violence."
Police said he told them that on other nights the triggerman was Hausner, a baby-faced janitor and freelance photographer.
After each shooting, the car would drive slowly away, leaving little evidence other than the victim's body on a sidewalk.
"We are so confident that these are the people," Chief Jack Harris told The Associated Press.