Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Minneapolis and St. Paul each reported homicides, three people were carjacked in the Dinkytown area, a man was stabbed outside the Gay 90s bar, and more.

crime recap
Minneapolis responders on site of a shooting homicide at 47th and Lyndale Ave N (Angela Marie/Facebook)

Minneapolis and St. Paul each reported homicides over the weekend.

In Minneapolis, police were dispatched about 11:40 a.m. Saturday for a Shotspotter activation that detected 15 rounds on the 4700 block of Lyndale Avenue North, according to dispatch audio. While en route, police were informed by the dispatcher that two vehicles were reported to be involved, and one had crashed into a fence (top photo). Bystanders were reportedly pulling a male from the vehicle and were performing CPR. Police arrived within two minutes and confirmed CPR was in progress.

MPD later issued a statement that an adult male had been located at the scene with multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds and had died as a result of his injuries, marking the 74th homicide for the city this year.

A clip of audio was later posted online that was reported to the shots from the incident which indicated automatic burst gunfire.

St. Paul police reported Sunday morning that they were investigating a homicide that had occurred overnight on the 200 block of West 9th Street in downtown. A statement later released by police said an unresponsive male was found near a loading dock just after 2 a.m. with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. He was pronounced deceased at the scene, and police said they are continuing to investigate. The death is the city’s 33rd homicide for the year.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office reported on Thursday about a “bump and rob” carjacking in Maplewood at the intersection of Roselawn Avenue East and Edgerton Street. They said a man was in his black Mazda CX-5 waiting to turn into a parking lot when a white Dodge Journey pulled up behind him and tapped his bumper. The victim got out to check on the situation, and it quickly turned violent. One of the four people in the minivan jumped out, pointed a gun at him and then drove off in his SUV.

The RSCO updated on Friday that St. Paul police had later spotted the vehicle at Baker Street West and Dodd Road occupied by six juveniles. The vehicle fled and crashed and several of the occupants fled on foot leaving one of their injured accomplices behind. All six were eventually apprehended and arrested. RCSO said miraculously no one was seriously injured in the crash.

Police recover a previously carjacked vehicle in St. Paul (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

They reminded people to take precautions if they are involved in a fender bender. In addition to staying alert to your surroundings, call 911 right away if you’re involved in an incident. They said if something doesn’t feel right, drive to a police station or other well-lit, busy location to exchange information and tell the police dispatcher you are doing so.

Matthew Dereck Richardson, 40, of Minneapolis was charged in Ramsey County Court on Thursday in relation to a 2008 sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl at a St. Paul public library.

Matthew Dereck Richardson (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

Charges say the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was finally able to make a DNA match in October of this year to a sample that had been taken from the girl at the time of the assault.

Charges say the girl and her brother had been at the library in August 2008 using the computers and the suspect had been seated nearby. When she requested a key to the bathroom from the librarian, that man followed her to the basement location of the bathroom. As she opened the door, the male pushed her inside and onto the floor where he put his hand over her mouth and told her not to scream or he would hurt her. The man hit the girl in the face when she struggled, scratched and sexually assaulted her.

Richardson, who reportedly lived with his mother near the library at the time, had been implicated as a suspect shortly after the assault. Authorities had been tipped to Richardson when relatives thought the suspect sketch looked like him, and they were concerned because he had previously been charged with sexually assaulting another cousin. That case was dismissed the day it was scheduled to go to trial. Police at the time of the assault at the library spoke with Richardson’s mother who told them Richardson lived with her.

At the time of his arrest on Nov. 9, 2022, Richardson denied sexually assaulting the girl, and denied that he lived with his mother at the time.

Richardson has been charged with felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. He remained in custody on Monday on $100,000 bail.

Charges state that on June 16, 2021, Richardson was “found to be a person who poses a risk of harm due to mental illness and was civilly committed.” The address for Richardson listed on the charging document is a recovery “hometel” on the 1900 block of Park Avenue in Minneapolis which is operated by a nonprofit organization.

Erick Dewaun Haynes, 22, of Brooklyn Park was charged in Hennepin County Court on Thursday with two counts of second-degree murder in connection to the shooting homicide of his ex-girlfriend Zaria Rashun McKeever, 23, in Brooklyn Park last Tuesday, Nov. 8. Two juveniles were also charged with second-degree murder in juvenile court in the case.

Erick Dewaun Haynes (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Charges say Haynes directed the two juveniles ages 15 and 17 to go to McKeever’s apartment to beat up her new boyfriend while Haynes allegedly waited in the car. Following their arrest, the two teen suspects implicated Haynes in the “burglary turned homicide.” They said Haynes gave them the gun, told them where to go, and directed them on what to do when they arrived. They said Haynes also helped them flee from the scene afterward and helped get medical attention for one of the juveniles who had sustained wounds during the incident.

Video footage obtained by investigators showed a car associated with Haynes at the apartment complex several times in the days prior to the shooting. Other video footage showed Haynes’ vehicle following the victim as she drove away from the apartment complex on Nov. 7, 2022, and it showed the vehicle at the apartment complex at 1:51 a.m., on the day of the homicide. Video footage also showed two black males fleeing from the apartment complex shortly after the shooting. They were both dressed in black pants and black hoodies. As they fled, one of them was limping and the other was helping him flee the area.

A gun associated with the incident was located by a Hennepin County K9 unit, the charges said. The gun was hidden in the wheel well of a Dodge Charger that was parked near an extended stay hotel associated with Haynes. Forensic testing on the gun showed a match with the discharged cartridge casings located at the scene of the murder. Following his arrest, Haynes told police they would find his DNA on the gun.

Haynes, who has a 1-year-old child with the victim, remained in custody Monday in Hennepin County Jail on $1 million bail.

Thongkham Soukaroune, 45, of Dayton, Minn., has been charged with felony fleeing police after the Plymouth Police Department reported heavy police presence in the area of Hwy. 55 and Northwest Boulevard involving a van that fled from Maple Grove police early Thursday morning.

Soukaroune is currently on parole for felony theft and had at least two open warrants on charges of felony auto theft and DWI at the time of his arrest on Thursday.

The new criminal complaint states that Soukaroune fled from Maple Grove police and had fled from State Patrol previously. During the Thursday incident, a Maple Grove officer observed the vehicle driving erratically by crossing lane lines and switching lanes several times. When the officer attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed. Plymouth police were eventually able to follow the vehicle, and Minnetonka police used tire spikes to stop the vehicle.

Soukaroune has 23 prior convictions including at least six felonies: Drive-by shooting, auto theft, robbery second-degree assault, theft, and receiving stolen property.

Soukaroune remained in custody on Monday on $20,000 bail and a Minnesota Department of Corrections hold.

There were at least three carjackings in the Dinkytown area near the University of Minnesota campus over the weekend including a kidnapping.

The first occurred Thursday evening just after 8 p.m. when police were dispatched to the 800 block of 13th Avenue Southeast on a report that the 911 caller’s mom had been carjacked at gunpoint by four suspects.

A short clip of surveillance video of the carjacking was later obtained by Crime Watch that showed four suspects surrounding the vehicle described as a white Volvo with a cat sticker on the back.

Another 911 caller reported just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday that they had been kidnapped in Dinkytown and forced to drive to Northeast Minneapolis to withdraw money from a bank ATM, and then their vehicle was taken by the suspects, according to dispatch audio.

The University of Minnesota eventually issued a safety alert confirming the incident originated near 15th Avenue Southeast and 5th Street Southeast. They said the victim was forced at gunpoint to drive to the ATM and their vehicle was taken.

Another carjacking occurred just before 11 p.m. Sunday night in the area of 12th Avenue Southeast and 7th Street Southeast. A female student reported she was carjacked at gunpoint by two black males and that her boyfriend’s phone and car keys were also stolen. Dispatch audio from the time of the incident indicated that the vehicle was tracked at one point to the area of Van Cleve Park and that police had detained at least one male walking in that area as a possible suspect. The victim later told Crime Watch that she had not been able to confirm to police whether the detained party was one of the suspects involved. Information was not immediately available on whether an arrest was made in that case.

A man was stabbed outside the Gay 90s bar on the 400 block of Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis around midnight early Saturday morning during what was described by police as a fight involving 10 to 20 people, according to dispatch audio. When police arrived to the victim, they described that the victim had a “substantial injury to his chest.” Rescue responders from the Minneapolis Fire Department were dispatched for a victim with a “severe bleed” and “large chest wound.” The suspects in the incident were later described by police as eight Asian males wearing royal blue who had left the area on foot. Further information on the victim’s condition and whether any suspects were located was not immediately available. No public statement was released by police on the incident.

Woodbury police reported on Saturday that they were investigating an assault that had occurred on the 10000 block of Grand Oaks Trail. They said one person was transported to Regions Hospital by ambulance and one person was arrested. They said the suspect and victim were known to each other and there is no threat to the public at large. Police reportedly later told media that a person had been shot in the face and neck.

Washington County Jail records show that Brandon Duane Smith, 39, with an address listed on the same block, was booked into custody on a pending charge of first-degree assault involving great bodily harm.

Columbia Heights police reported on Sunday that their city and surrounding communities in Anoka County are seeing an increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Police said it may be part of a national trend of thefts targeting those specific manufacturers. CPHD said thieves are targeting certain makes and models of 2010-2022 Kia and Hyundai vehicles that use a mechanical key, not a key fob and push-button to start the car.

CHPD reminded people to take basic precautions to prevent auto thefts such as locking doors, removing keys, and parking in well-lit areas. They also suggested people install alarm systems or other anti-theft devices.

Around Minnesota

Sanchez Benito Urrutia (St. Louis County Jail)

Duluth police reported that officers on patrol heard the sound of shots just after 2 a.m. Sunday on the 100 block of West 1st Street and observed multiple people run from the area. A traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle pointed out by witnesses, and 25-year-old Sanchez Benito Urrutia was arrested without incident.

Urrutia is being held in St. Louis County Jail on pending charges of reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a permit, and possession of a firearm without a serial number. A firearm was located in the vehicle and was seized. Police said the initial investigation showed that Urrutia fired two rounds into the air. No one was injured in this incident.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.


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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.