Back to: News
January 03, 2018 05:16 PM

Brandon Mother And Son In Custody; Neighbors Had No Idea 80 Weapons Next Door

Brandon, SD

A mother and son are in custody.  According to court papers, they believed the 16-year-old boy was a character from a violent video game.  

They built a bunker in their basement, wore bulletproof vests and police say they were involved in recent drive by shootings.

The investigation began in northwest Iowa - where Artis Kattenberg and her son went to church.  

Court papers say churchgoers were worried because the teenager would wear a bulletproof vest to church and also appeared to carry a gun. 

In November, a Rock Valley Police officer called Kattenberg to ask her about it.  Court papers say she told him her son was an "Ethan Bot" and that he'd have to get a hold of the secretary of defense. 

If you are not familiar with an Ethan Bot -- it's a character from the video game Call of Duty Infinite Warfare.

A few days later, the mother and son met with church officials, and the teenager allegedly told them if he wanted to shoot people in church he would carry a machine gun, not a handgun. 

After that conversation, church officials sent the Kattenbergs a letter, letting them know they were no longer welcome at church.

A few weeks later, a couple of church members were the victims of drive-by shootings.  

That's when authorities in Iowa reached out to Brandon Police. 

Authorities say this mother-son duo kept their arsenal of weapons in what authorities say was their fortified basement in Brandon. 

Neighbors I talked with had no idea what was going on right next door. 

"I called my mom! Our neighbors!" Valentien said. 

On the outside, 1401 Lakota Avenue looks like any other Brandon home.  

"You would have never guessed in this neighborhood," Valentien said.

A white picket fence. The front yard, surrounded by a wrought iron border. 
But beneath all this, court papers say Artis Kattenberg and her 16-year-old son kept 80 weapons...and built a bunker. 

"They were inside most of the time. The only time we ever saw them was their truck coming in and out of the driveway," Valentien said. 

Kiara Valentien lives just down the street. She's thankful Kattenberg is in custody. 

"What are other people capable of if she's got all of this stuff?" Kattenberg's Neighbor Kiara Valentien said.

Valentien says she's especially glad after hearing about the drive-by shootings in Iowa,

"If they didn't catch them on time, what would have happened to our neighborhood?" Valentien said. 

When you live a few doors down... that question, is even more scary.  Valentien says she had no idea. 

"Especially in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids. You feel like you should know everybody," Valentien said. 

It makes Valentien wonder...if you ever really know your neighbors. 

"You just kind of question everybody," Valentien said. 

Kattenberg will be in court later this week for felony child abuse.   Charges for the crimes committed in Iowa are pending. 

© 2018 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

  • General
  • News


We Welcome discussion on KELOLAND News stories but will delete any comments that contain swearing or make threats against others.


Click here for full weather details!