Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Minneapolis recorded its 77th and 78th homicides over the weekend as well as several other shootings. Plus two children were taken in separate Minneapolis auto theft incidents.

crime recap
Jawan Contrail Carroll (Ramsey County Jail warrant photo)

Minneapolis recorded its 77th and 78th homicides over the weekend as well as several other shootings.

Minneapolis police announced that a man who had been shot last Monday on the 500 block of Knox Avenue North had died on Thursday as a result of his injuries. The decedent was subsequently identified by the medical examiner as 27-year-old Abdi Omar Abukar of Minneapolis. Information was not made available by MPD on whether any suspects had been identified. The shooting was homicide number 77 for the city.

In the city’s 78th homicide, an adult male was shot and killed late Sunday night in Minneapolis inside a residence on the 3100 block of Dupont Avenue North. Police were dispatched to the address about 11:48 p.m. on a report that the 911 caller’s “grandfather” had shot someone. Police arrived and found the victim upstairs, and the suspect was detained, according to dispatch audio. In a statement later released by MPD, they said the victim died as a result of his injuries. MPD said their preliminary investigation indicated that the victim and suspect were known to each other. No circumstantial details were offered by MPD, but a person claiming to be a relative of the suspect told Crime Watch that her grandfather, the suspect, has dementia.

Several other people were injured in separate shootings in Minneapolis over the weekend:

Downtown Minneapolis police officers were dispatched just after 2 a.m. Thursday on a report of a shooting near North 4th Street and North 1st Avenue. Police did not immediately locate a victim but were informed several minutes later by the dispatcher that a shooting victim had shown up at HCMC reportedly shot in the ear, according to dispatch audio. Police later aired that the victim told them they were shot behind Brick x Mortar, which is located on the 300 block of North 1st Avenue. No further details were immediately available, and no public statement was released by police about the shooting.

Minneapolis police were dispatched just before 2 a.m. Saturday on a report of a shooting near 12th Avenue South and East Lake Street where a person was reported to be shot in the leg, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived and found the victim and a spent shell casing nearby. No further information was aired about the incident, and no public statement was released by MPD about the shooting.

Minneapolis police were dispatched to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after 4 a.m. on Sunday on a report of a shooting victim who had been admitted, according to dispatch audio. The dispatcher told police that the shooting reportedly occurred near 46th Avenue South and East Lake Street. No further information was immediately available about the circumstances or the extent of injuries to the victim, and no public statement was released by police about the shooting.

Minneapolis police were dispatched just after 2 p.m. Sunday on a Shotspotter activation. While en route, the dispatcher informed them that the incident had been updated to a shooting, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived at the location to find blood, but no victim on site. The dispatcher aired several minutes later that a gunshot victim had shown up at North Memorial hospital in Robbinsdale. After arriving at the hospital, an officer aired that the victim’s injuries “appeared to be non-life-threatening.” No further details were immediately available, and no public statement was released by police about the shooting.


Two children were taken in separate Minneapolis auto theft incidents over the weekend, according to dispatch audio.

The first occurred on Thursday about 8:50 a.m. near 34th Avenue South and East 33rd Street when a two-year-old was reported to be in a car seat inside a Subaru that was stolen. The suspect was described as wearing a black mask and all dark clothing. The child and vehicle in that incident were reported to be found a few minutes later about a block away.

The second occurred on Friday before 6 a.m. on the 1800 block of Thomas Avenue North when a one-year-old was taken along with the stolen vehicle. The vehicle and child in that incident were found by police about 90 minutes later less than a mile away on the 1900 block of Willow Avenue North.

There were no indications over dispatch at the time that either child was harmed. No public statements were issued by MPD on either incident, and neither incident appears to have been reported by other Twin Cities media.


Matthew Phillip Ecker, 44, of Fergus Falls has been charged with second-degree murder after a woman was found inside a St. Paul apartment unit with a gunshot to her head early Friday morning. Ecker also stated to the dispatcher that he had a permit to carry the gun.

Charges say a 911 caller, identified as Ecker, reported about 2:50 a.m. that a woman had shot herself.

Police arrived to find the woman on the bathroom floor with a gun on her chest and her left hand over the gun, but not gripping the gun. Police noted at the time that the gun was “remarkably clean” except for some possible blood at the tip. The victim had no blood on her left hand.

Ecker described to police a situation involving his open relationship with the woman who also had another boyfriend. The two met up with the other boyfriend at a bar during which an altercation ensued and Ecker was punched in the face by the other boyfriend and Ecker fell to the floor. The other boyfriend was dragged from the bar by security. Ecker and the victim remained at the bar for another 45 minutes before walking back to the apartment.

Ecker told police he and the victim had gotten into an argument and she grabbed the gun from his backpack and locked herself in the bathroom. Ecker told police he then heard a shot. He got the door open and told police he tried to help her by applying pressure to her head and performed CPR. Police noted that Ecker had no blood on his hands or clothing and also noted that the sink was dry after Ecker told them he had used it to wash his hands before calling 911. The complaint states that Ecker changed his story to police about the sequence of events. He told police he’d found the gun by the victim’s shoulder and placed it on her chest. He also said at one point that he put the gun in his suitcase because he was afraid of getting in trouble because it was his gun. Ecker told police he retrieved the gun from his suitcase and put it back on the victim’s chest.

Ecker told police he didn’t know if AP had any gun training and that he had not shown the victim how to use his gun. A booking photo of Ecker was not immediately available.


Gang member Jawan Contrail Carroll (top photo), 25, of Minneapolis was sentenced Friday in Hennepin County District Court to 69 years in prison for the mass shooting outside the Monarch nightclub in downtown Minneapolis in May 2021 that left two people dead and seven injured.

Innocent bystander Charlie Johnson was one of the parties killed, the other was Christopher Jones, who was engaged in the gunfight with Carroll. Johnson was a University of St. Thomas senior who was set to graduate from college the following day.

Carroll was convicted by a jury in October on two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted second-degree murder. Under Minnesota’s two-thirds sentencing rule, Carroll is scheduled to be free on parole after serving 46 years in prison.

Carroll had been charged in a separate case in 2016 with several gang related gun crimes. At that time, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman promised tough prosecution against Carroll. In the end, at least six felony and gross misdemeanor gun possession and gang related charges of terroristic threats were dismissed against Carroll who pleaded guilty to only a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.


The Minnetonka Police Department released a statement on Friday saying they had arrested three people earlier in the week related to over 85 property damage incidents that had taken place across the west metro that had totaled over $108,000 in property damage to residences, businesses and religious sites from BBs and metal nuts.

The arrests were made following the execution of a search warrant at a Minnetonka residence during which officers recovered slingshots, BBs, metal nuts, narcotics and a stolen vehicle.

They said property damage reports spanned the cities of Minnetonka, Plymouth, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Golden Valley since August. Most of the cases involved broken windows.

The statement said the Minnetonka Police Department’s crime analyst used pattern analysis, mapping and database tools to identify the suspects.

Jail records show the three arrested parties named in the statement, one female age 22 and two males age 25, were released from custody without charges after 48 hours.

Minnetonka Police say they are working with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to pursue formal charges.


Erica Shameka Roberts, 36, of St. Paul arrived in custody at Hennepin County Jail on Friday after being extradited from Texas on charges of second-degree murder in the Minneapolis shooting homicide of Tanasha Austin, 30, on March 18 of this year.

Erica Shameka Roberts (Gregg County, TX, Jail)

The shooting of Austin occurred inside a vehicle on the 1900 block of 3rd Avenue South just after 7:30 a.m. that day. Charges say Roberts and the victim were inside the vehicle with three other people following an evening of socializing when Roberts and the victim began to argue, and a shot was fired. Roberts and another witness fled the scene after the shooting. Roberts remained at large until police announced on Nov. 29 that she had been arrested in Longview, Texas.

Austin’s murder was the 13th homicide of the year for Minneapolis, a number which now sits at 77 with just under two weeks before the end of the year.

Roberts has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Jail records show a bail amount of $1 million for Roberts, and a first court appearance is scheduled for Monday afternoon.


Fredi Amilcar Sun Chajon, 33, was booked into custody in Dakota County Jail on Friday after being wanted on a warrant for attempted murder since last month after allegedly pushing his wife from a speeding vehicle in Burnsville.

Charges say Chajon told his wife he wanted her dead or back in her country of origin and also threatened to kill her family in the United States and in her country of origin.

Charges say Chajon and the victim were inside a vehicle when he raised a knife and cut her lip. Chajon then rapidly accelerated and pushed the victim from the vehicle.

The complaint states that the victim suffered multiple injuries including road rash all over her body and may have also been struck by another vehicle.

Chajon, whom the booking record states is homeless, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, and first- and second-degree assault. He made a first court appearance on Friday where he was granted a public defender. Chajon remains jailed on $800,000 bail.


An apparent pedestrian was struck and killed in a hit and run Friday in Fridley, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office reported. Police arrived about 5:17 p.m. near the 6000 block of East River Road to find an individual on the ground. Other emergency responders declared the adult male deceased at the scene.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any individuals who may have witnessed or have information about the crash to contact the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office at (763) 427-1212.


Two people were shot at an Oakdale bar late Saturday night, but both sustained injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a statement later released by police.

Police were dispatched about 11:15 p.m. on a report of a shooting at Titan’s Sports Saloon at 1267 Geneva Avenue North, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived to find one victim outside the bar with a gunshot wound and aired that they found a second victim shortly thereafter.

The statement from police said that one victim, a 25-year-old male, sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder area while the second victim, a 21-year-old male, sustained a gunshot wound to his arm. Both males were transported by ambulance to the hospital for care.

Police said witness interviews indicated that the shooting was directed at the two individuals and no other patrons in the business were injured. Police described the suspect as an African American male wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt.

Oakdale police are continuing to investigate and ask anyone with information to call the Oakdale Police Department at 651-738-1025.

Around Minnesota

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Saturday named five officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man in New Auburn, Sibley County, in the early morning hours of Thursday Dec. 15.

Brent Alsleben, 34, of New Auburn, died of gunshot wounds in the deadly force encounter, which stemmed from the family’s request for a welfare check on Alsleben last Wednesday in which they cited concerns for his mental health, according to the BCA statement.

From the BCA statement:

A deputy and EMTs initially responded to Alsleben’s apartment in New Auburn around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday following the request for the welfare check. Several hours after they arrived, reports indicate Alsleben displayed a knife and swung it at the responders. Deputies continued to try to speak with Alsleben, encouraging him to safely leave his apartment.

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 15, three Hutchinson officers and two McCleod County deputies forced open Alsleben’s apartment door. They asked him to surrender but did not go inside. They could not see him, and he was not responding to their commands.

According to body camera footage, there appeared to be something on fire in the apartment. That’s when the officers and deputies entered the apartment and saw Alsleben lying on the living room floor with a large, hunting-style knife in his hand. They attempted to take him into custody. He struggled and cut one of the officers with the knife. The deputies attempted to use their Tasers on him. They were unsuccessful and Alsleben started to stand up, still holding the knife. Three Hutchinson officers fired, striking Alsleben.

BCA crime scene personnel recovered a knife at the scene. Portions of the incident were captured on body camera footage, which BCA agents are reviewing.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified three Hutchinson Police Officers and two McLeod County Sheriff’s Deputies who used force during this incident. Only the Hutchinson officers are on standard administrative leave.

Officer Taylor Fenrich fired his duty pistol. He has 17 years of law enforcement experience.

Officer Phillip Mielke fired his patrol rifle. He has nine years of law enforcement experience.

Officer Tyler Schmeling fired his patrol rifle. He has eight years of law enforcement experience.

Deputy Andrew Demeyer discharged his Taser. He has 16 years of law enforcement experience.

Deputy David Olson discharged his Taser. He has 17 years of law enforcement experience.

Along with Hutchinson police and McLeod County deputies, members of the Sibley County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene but were not involved in the use-of-force incident. The officer and deputies involved in the incident have not yet submitted statements to the BCA but are expected to do so in the coming days.

The Sibley County Sheriff’s Office asked the BCA to investigate the incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without recommendation to the Sibley County Attorney’s Office for review.


Duluth police reported they took Matthew Douglas Mercer, Sr., 38, into custody on warrants on Thursday night with the use of Hermantown K9 “Tuuko.”

Matthew Douglas Mercer, Sr. (St. Louis County Jail) and K9 “Tuuko” (Hermantown Police Dept)

Duluth police were tipped about 10 p.m. Thursday that Mercer was reported to be at an apartment on the 700 block of East 1st Street. After multiple failed attempts to have Mercer exit the residence, officers entered the building and utilized the Hermantown Police Department’s K9 to locate Mercer, who had barricaded himself in a room, they said.

Mercer was arrested and booked at the St. Louis County Jail for warrants in several separate cases including domestic assault, three counts of 5th degree assault, damage to property, and narcotics. DPD said Mercer may be facing pending charges of obstructing the legal process and multiple counts related to burglaries which they said are still being investigated.

The Hermantown Police Department later posted a photo of Tuuko on their Facebook page and congratulated him on his capture in response to the DPD post.

Mercer remained in custody on Monday on a hold without bail.

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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.