Archive for the ‘MN’ Category

Minnesota: Would-be Burglar Shot to Death

June 21, 2009

Moorhead, Minnesota

From KFYR of June 21, 2009

Would-be Burglar Shot to Death

An apartment break-in ended in a shooting, with the tenant killing the intruder. It happened to our east in Moorhead, Minnesota around midnight Saturday.

The burglar died after being shot in the chest at close range with a shotgun.

It`s been an emotional night for Sara Graham. “I thought he was drunk and trying to rob me; I did not know he was,” says Graham. She begins to cry and can`t finish her sentence.

She was sleeping in her apartment when a man walked in in the middle of the night. She yelled at him to leave, and he did.

“No clue who he is,” notes Graham.

But the intruder came back, this time entering another apartment. The tenant told police the man refused to leave and tried to pick a fight with him. The apartment owner grabbed his shotgun, and when the intruder attacked again, the tenant fired. It was a fatal shot.

Moorhead police Lt. Tory Jacobson says, “The entire circumstance has to be closely examined and specifically saying X and Y equal this result, you know, have to have variables that come into play, and no one would wish to be in that situation of having to choose between life or death.”

Jacobson says everyone has a right to protect himself. That`s what David Allen says his brother, the apartment tenant, did.

“I know my brother isn`t that kind of person, he`d be the first to call the cops. I`m kind of confused by the situation,” explains Allen.

The injured man fled back to Graham`s apartment, holing himself up in her daughter`s bedroom.

Neighbor Nelly Peralez says she hoped the deadly scene was only a nightmare. “It`s just shocking, I mean this morning when I woke up I just kept thinking saying please don`t let it be true because I live here,” she says.

But as Sara Graham surveys her blood stained carpet, she says her nightmare is just beginning. “He was screaming. He was crying. I`ll never forget it. I`d rather see it again than hear it all over again,” she says.

Moorhead police say they will not charge the shooter, apartment tenant Vernon Allen. Police say the dead burglar was a 17-year-old Moorhead boy.


Burglars Take Into Custody in Fawn Lake Township

August 26, 2008

Fawn Lake Township, Minnesota

From the August 12, 2008 Long Prairie [Minnesota] Leader:

Minnesota: Shot-at meth addict is sentenced for St. Paul burglary

June 28, 2008

St. Paul, Minnesota

From the Star Tribune of June 27, 2008

Shot-at meth addict is sentenced for St. Paul burglary

As he stood awaiting sentencing Friday in Ramsey County District Court, Michael G. Spencer had become more than just a methamphetamine addict convicted of burglary.

District Judge Michael Monahan told Spencer that he now was a poster boy for this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying Americans had a right to own guns for self-defense.

Spencer, who was sentenced to 34 months in prison, was arrested in April after he broke into a St. Paul home but then was subdued by a homeowner armed with a gun. The homeowner fired at him, and, although the bullet missed, Spencer, 31, feigned unconsciousness until police arrived, court records show.

His attorney told the judge that Spencer had been a drug user for 14 years and that he was hopeful he could get treatment to turn his life around.

Said Spencer of the incident, “I’m sorry … I really don’t know what happened.”

Minnesota: Breaking News: Home Invasion

June 11, 2008

Truman, Minnesota

From KEYC of June 11, 2008

Breaking News: Home Invasion

Two people are assaulted in their home, and the intruder suffers a gunshot wound.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office says it happened last night just before midnight.

They say an intruder apparently entered the home of Elmer and Marcella Sauck at 2488 200th Street in rural Martin County.

Mrs. Sauck was physically assaulted, was able to escape and go to the nearby home of her son, Mark. Mark then went to his parents’ house and found his father being assaulted by the intruder. Authorities say Mark then ordered the intruder to stop several times as he approached him, but he didn’t.

The intruder suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Mrs. Sauck was also airlifted to Rochester, and Elmer Sauck was transported to Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Authorities say they’re not releasing the intruder’s identity because no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

They say the investigation is ongoing.

Minnesota: Suspect killed in Inver Grove Heights liquor store robbery

May 3, 2008

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

From the Star-Tribune of May 2, 2008

Suspect killed in Inver Grove Heights liquor store robbery

Fearing he would be shot if he let the liquor store robber tie him up, Matt Huerta made a grab for the gun.

As the two men struggled for control of the weapon at Trail Liquors in Inver Grove Heights Thursday morning, it fired several times. The suspect was hit in the chest and died several hours later. Huerta was able to call 911 for help and is recovering at a St. Paul hospital.

Minutes before the scuffle, the suspect had walked into the store and demanded money from the cash register.

The suspect then walked Huerta, the store manager, to a back room and demanded he open the safe.

Huerta, the only employee in the store at about 10:30 a.m., told the man he didn’t know the combination.

“The robber wanted to tie Matt up, and Matt thought if he was tied up, he could be shot,” said Kathleen Schneider, the store’s co-owner. When the man put the gun in the top of his pants, Huerta went to grab it, she said. That’s when the scuffle began. The gun apparently discharged several times, she said.

Shots hit the suspect in the chest and the manager in the leg, according to investigators.

The manager then called 911 to report an armed robbery, said Lt. Jerry Salmey, a spokesman for the Inver Grove Heights police.

Huerta, 57, of Rosemount, was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul on Thursday. He declined requests for interviews.

The suspect’s name won’t be released until family members are notified, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office said Thursday night.

Huerta is in “disbelief” over what happened, Schneider said. “He said it probably all happened in 15 minutes, but it felt like 15 hours.”

“You just never think something like this is going to happen,” Schneider said. “It’s so tragic to think that someone would try to do this for a couple hundred dollars.”

Minnesota: Minn. man shoots cops after SWAT team kicks down wrong door

December 17, 2007

Minneapolis, Minnesota

From USA Today of December 17, 2007

Minn. man shoots cops after SWAT team kicks down wrong door

A Minneapolis police SWAT team kicked in the wrong door yesterday during an early morning raid, prompting the man of the house to grab his gun and open fire on the officers who entered the house.

“He took out his shotgun and he said if they are bad guys I’ll shoot, I’ll scare them away,” Dao Khang, the brother of the homeowner, Vang Khang, tells the Star Tribune. “He fired first, he told me it was two shots.”

Dao Khang says his brother was trying to protect his wife and six children. No one from the family was hit during the exchange of gunfire. Vang hit two officers, but the Pioneer Press says they were protected by ballistic vests and helmets.

“I must’ve heard over 20 or 30 shots, I swear, it was scary,” Ruth Hayes, the family’s next-door neighbor, tells WCCO-TV. “It was like 30 SWAT guys out here … it was crazy it was just like havoc.”

KARE-TV reports that Vang was detained at the scene and released a few hours later. Police say there may have been a “language barrier” between the residents and the officers.

“It was some bad information that was received on the front end that kind-of trickled all the way through,” police Sgt. Jesse Garcia tells the station. “It’s unfortunate because we have officers that were hit by gunfire and this truly, truly could have been a much worse situation.”

Police haven’t decided whether they’ll try to charge Khang with a crime. KMSP-TV says the Khang family is consulting with a civil attorney.

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune of December 18, 2007

Police chief apologizes to family

The family involved in a botched high-risk police search of their north Minneapolis home early Sunday said today that Police Chief Tim Dolan has personally apologized to them.

Dolan met with members of the Khang family earlier today, said Sia Lo, the family’s attorney during a news conference held in the upstairs master bedroom that was riddled by at least two-dozen bullet holes. Family members said the shots came from police.

Lo said that Dolan told the family the wrong house was raided and that there was “a breakdown in communication,” that led a SWAT team to descend on the home in the 1300 block of Logan Avenue N.

On Monday, Dolan met with members of the Hmong community and family elders. His meeting today with homeowner Vang Khang, his wife, Vee Moua, and extended family was considered a positive step in the healing process, Lo said.

Police apologized, admitting that they had erred based on bad information from an informant, the alleged victim of a violent crime at the house, believed to be one of the last pieces in a long-term investigation focused on violent gang members.

Police said they had no reason to believe the information was inaccurate. They had the right address on the warrant, but the house wasn’t occupied by anybody they wanted.

Moua said while watching television she heard noises that ended up being a SWAT team entering the rear of the house about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. She raced upstairs to wake up her husband.

Khang, thinking the intruders were burglars, fired at police through a bedroom wall he said in fear that they would harm his sons in another bedroom. The shots hit two officers, one in the back and one in the head, but both were uninjured because they were wearing protective armor. Police shot back, but did not hit him.

Khang said he realized the intruders were the police only after his 12-year-old son told him so in Hmong.

“Things could’ve been very tragic,” Khang said Tuesday. “Maybe there were spirits watching over us.”

Lo said the family will be staying with relatives indefinitely. “I think it will be very difficult for the children right now to come back at this time,” Lo said.

Further links:
SWAT Team Barges Into Wrong Home; Scared Home Owner Shoots Cops

October 31, 2007

Minneapolis, Minnesota

From October 30, 2007 Fox channel 9:

Mpls Family Shoots an Intruder

A thief targeting a north Minneapolis house got a little more than he bargained when he attempted to break in. Fox 9’s Beth McDonough, reporting.

The video report says that Willie Hobbs was allegedly trying to force entry into the home, “trying to find some copper, and got some lead.”

September 22, 2007

St. Paul, Minnesota

From the September 21, 2007 Pioneer Press:

Prosecutors charged a killer today with trying to burglarize two homes seven months after his release from jail.

Feon Stone, 21, is to appear in court Tuesday on a probation violation. He may be sent to prison on his previous manslaughter conviction, for which he had received a stayed sentence.

On Sept. 13, at about 1 a.m., officers were sent to the 1200 block of Rice Street on reports of a man trying to burglarize a house, according to a complaint filed against Stone today by the Ramsey County attorney’s office.

According to the complaint:

A man who lives in the home was working on his computer and heard a noise. When he went to check, he saw someone enter his enclosed porch. The man confronted the person on the porch and yelled at him.

The intruder ran toward the man and punched him in the head. They fought, and the man ran to his bedroom to get a gun. He went into the back yard and shot a round into the ground to scare the intruder away.

A police dog was tracking the suspect when police got a call about 1:15 a.m. about a burglary in progress at a home about two blocks away.

September 21, 2007

Minneapolis, Minnesota

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune of September 21, 2007

Oops — robber leaves gun behind

A bumbling robber attempting to hold up a north Minneapolis convenience store left a crucial piece of evidence behind: his gun.

The suspect walked into the E & L Market at 2211 Lowry Av. N. Thursday night and demanded money.

The robber covered his face with something in one hand so he could not be identified. But then he made a critical error.

“He set his gun down on the counter to pick up the cash,” said Sgt. Tammy Diedrich, a Minneapolis Police Department spokeswoman. “The clerk grabbed the gun.”

The robber dropped the cash and fled.

No one has been arrested.

June 9, 2007

Coon Rapids, Minnesota

From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press of June 8, 2007

Coon Rapids man said he fired in ‘self defense’ as he walks out of jail without charges

Investigators refuse to release name of officer, who suspect’s family says pulled a gun on them

The Coon Rapids man arrested in the Thursday shooting of an undercover police officer in a road rage confrontation said he shot in “self defense” as he was released this afternoon without being charged.

After meeting with Coon Rapids police, prosecutors opted today to not charge 35-year-old Martin Scott Treptow, said the prosecutor overseeing the case. The investigation, though, into the entire incident continues, prosecutors said.

Witnesses described Thursday shooting as the culmination of a rolling argument that escalated into an apparent full-blown case of road rage. The suspect’s family said Treptow fired only after a man pulled a gun on them and they had no idea he was an officer. Treptow said outside the jail this afternoon, that the officer drew his gun first.

Police arrested Treptow shortly after the shooting after he called police from a nearby gas station.

A day after the shooting, the cop’s bosses at the Robbinsdale Police Department continue to refuse to release the officer’s name.

Coon Rapids police did not rule out the county prosecutor filing charges against the officer. Officials with the Anoka County attorney’s office said no charges will be filed in this case at this time.

“At this point we are giving the county attorney’s office everything we have. We are not giving any recommendation, one way or the other,” Coon Rapids Deputy Chief Timothy Snell said this morning.

Meanwhile, Treptow’s family, who last night told the Pioneer Press they were only protecting themselves from a “renegade cop” who had pulled a gun on them, refused to comment this morning.

On Thursday, Robbinsdale Police Chief Wayne Shellum said his officer was just doing his job. But Treptow’s father said last night the plainclothes officer threatened his family with his gun and that Treptow shot him to protect his family.

“This is a case of people letting their tempers get out of control,” Snell said. “It escalated and became a deadly force situation just because of some petty misdemeanor driving issues.”

Police refused Thursday to release the 27-year-old officer’s name, saying he was working undercover, but he is described as a six-year veteran of the Robbinsdale police force. He sustained injuries to both legs and an arm, although investigators aren’t sure how many shots were fired.

(Much More)