Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Julissa Thaler was sentenced to life in prison for murdering her son, a man fled from police after a drive-by shooting and crashed his vehicle into a downtown St. Paul restaurant, and 45,000 fentanyl pills were seized in Freeborn County.

Note on a St. Paul shop door following a deadly shooting (Submitted to Crime Watch)

Five people were shot in Minneapolis late Wednesday to Thursday morning leaving two dead and three injured in two incidents in the span of twelve hours.

Minneapolis police were dispatched about 11:35 p.m. Wednesday on a report of over a dozen shots heard near 29th and Colfax Avenue South, according to dispatch audio.

Police arrived and found a male in a vehicle just north of the Greenway who they said was shot in the head. There was also a female in the vehicle who had reportedly been shot in the chest.

As police tended to the two victims, another gunshot victim was reported to be a block over inside a building on the 2800 block of Bryant Avenue South.

The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement early Thursday morning stating that the two adult males had died from their injuries. The female in her 30s was transported to the hospital with at least one potentially life-threatening gunshot wound. An updated statement by MPD said they believed all three shootings occurred in one incident and they were still working to determine the circumstances of what transpired.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Friday released the identity of two males killed as Khalil Amer Bryant, 23, of Robbinsdale, and Davante Lavar-King Reid, 29, of Minneapolis. Bryant had been in the vehicle on Colfax Avenue and died of multiple gunshot wounds. Reid had been inside an apartment hallway on Bryant Avenue and died of a gunshot wound to the chest. At the time of the shootings, Bryant had been a wanted fugitive, according to Department of Corrections records.

The two homicides were numbers 7 and 8 for the city of Minneapolis this year.

In a second separate shooting about 12 hours later, Minneapolis police were dispatched about 11:45 a.m. Thursday to the 3100 block of East 58th Street on a report that a male had been shot in both legs and the shoulder inside an apartment, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived several minutes later and learned that there had been two suspects who were described as light skinned black males who left the scene in a black Chrysler 300.

Within minutes, the dispatcher informed police that a gunshot victim had arrived in a black vehicle at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center near 54th and Minnehaha Avenue and was in the emergency room. Further dispatch audio indicated that the person/s at the VA were possible suspects in the 58th Street shooting and were being secured by VA police. One party at the VA was reported to have “critical” gunshot injures and was reportedly being transferred to HCMC. The condition of the victims isn’t known at this time, and no public information was released by MPD about this shooting incident.

Minneapolis added homicide number 9 just after 4 a.m. Saturday when a man was shot and killed in an alley on the 3500 block of Girard Avenue North. MPD said in a statement that a man in his 40s had been working on a vehicle when a second vehicle approached. An argument ensued and escalated to gunfire killing the man who had been in the alley. No arrests were made at the time, and no suspect information was made available.

The decedent has since been identified by the medical examiner as 42-year-old Jeremiah Eli Black who died from multiple gunshot wounds.

A man was shot and killed Thursday in St. Paul marking that city’s third homicide this year. Police responded just after 3:30 p.m. to a report of a shooting on the 500 block of Stryker Avenue (top photo). When Officers arrived, they found an adult male suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the torso. The victim died of his injuries at the hospital.

The decedent has since been identified as 48-year-old Abdullah Arif of Stillwater, Minn.

SPPD said they arrested Elias Kareem Hany Aly, 21, on Friday on suspicion of murder in the case.

Court records show Aly was out on bond related to a Maplewood drive-by shooting last summer during which over 40 rounds were fired. The suspect vehicle containing Aly and two other co-defendants fled from police and ended up crashing in the city of St. Anthony triggering a mid-afternoon manhunt. The three suspects were captured, and police recovered four guns that had been discarded around the neighborhood by the suspects – two of them had been modified with “switches” to fire full-auto. Aly had been scheduled to go to jury trial in that case earlier this month, but the trial was recently rescheduled to June.

Aly also has two pending gross misdemeanor charges of illegal gun possession stemming from a Ramsey County case charged in June 2020, and two felony charges in a separate Hennepin County case on counts of identity theft and theft by swindle in a case charged in Aug. 2022. Court documents in that case say Aly was charged following an investigation by the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force which alleges Aly was part of a financial fraud crime ring from Nov. 2019 to July 2020 that engaged in counterfeit checks, forgery, identity theft, and fraud.

New charging information was not available as of Monday due to the federal holiday.

Julissa Angelica Genrich Thaler, 29, formerly of Spring Park, Minn., was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of first-degree murder by a jury in the shooting homicide of her six-year-old son, Eli Hart, inside a vehicle in May last year in Mound.

Julissa Angelica Genrich Thaler (MN Dept. of Corrections)

The gruesome details described in court documents stated that Thayer shot Eli multiple times with a shotgun while the child was strapped in a booster seat. Thayer was found by police spattered with blood and had brain matter in her hair. Police also searched garbage cans in the area and found multiple locations where blood and brain matter had been discarded. Officers found a bloody child booster seat in one dumpster. The seat had sustained damage consistent with a shotgun blast.

Eli Hart (GoFundMe)

Records showed that Thaler had been engaged in a custody battle over the child with Eli’s father. Despite the concerns of social workers about Thaler’s mental health, criminal history and living situation, a judge restored full custody to Thaler just two weeks prior to Eli’s murder.

Eli’s father, Tory Hart, filed a wrongful death lawsuit last year against Dakota County and three county employees claiming they are responsible for Eli’s death because they ignored multiple mental health red flags and warnings about Thaler before returning custody of Eli to her days before his murder.

At sentencing, Thaler lashed out at the judge when provided an opportunity to speak saying, “I’m innocent. F–k you all. You’re garbage.”

Thaler was transferred to Shakopee Correctional Facility on Thursday following her conviction.

Moeshea Isiah Hart, 18, of St. Paul was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday with several felonies after allegedly fleeing from police on Wednesday following a drive-by shooting in St. Paul and then crashing a stolen vehicle through the Ox Cart Ale House in downtown St. Paul.

Moesha Isiah Hart (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

According to charges and dispatch audio at the time, St. Paul police responded just before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to a report of shots fired on the 300 block of Luella Street. A 911 caller said a black Jeep was chasing a white Jeep and occupants in the black Jeep were shooting at the white Jeep. The caller said the shots sounded as if they were coming from an automatic weapon.

Responding officers spotted the black Jeep driving nearby at 3rd and Ruth streets. The Jeep had no front license plate and its rear window appeared to have been shot out. The Jeep immediately fled from officers at a high rate of speed and continued to flee after officers activated their emergency lights and sirens. Officers pursued the Jeep on Ruth to Minnehaha to Mcknight to Highway I-94. When the Jeep exited the highway at 6th Street, the pursuit was terminated for safety reasons. The Jeep, however, continued fleeing and eventually ran a red light at 6th Street and Wall Street, crashed into another vehicle, and then crashed into the Ox Cart restaurant at 255 6th Street.

A vehicle fleeing police crashed into the Ox Cart Ale House (Facebook/Ox Cart Ale House)

Charges say the driver of the Jeep tried to continue to flee by ramming the Jeep through the business. When that was unsuccessful, all three suspects exited the Jeep and tried unsuccessfully to flee on foot. All three were detained and later identified as Hart, James Quran Baker, 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile only identified in the complaint by the initials L.L.

Next to the driver’s side door of the Jeep police found a Glock 9mm handgun with a loaded, extended magazine. The pistol had been modified with a “switch” that converted it to operate as a fully automatic weapon. Several spent shell casings were also recovered from inside the Jeep, the complaint said.

Police learned the Jeep had been stolen in December, and at some point, had received a black wrap covering its original orange color.

Hart has been charged with felony counts of drive-by shooting, possession of a machine gun, auto theft, and fleeing police in a vehicle, and one gross misdemeanor count of carrying a firearm without a permit. He remained in custody Monday on $6,000 cash bail amount.

Information was not immediately available on whether the unnamed juvenile would be charged or whether they were in custody.

It’s unclear if Baker will be charged in Ramsey County in the incident at this time. He was transferred to custody at Hennepin County Jail over the weekend on a warrant involving charges of first-degree aggravated robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, and fifth-degree narcotics. Court records show Baker had been scheduled to be sentenced in the case on Thursday under the terms of a plea deal that agreed to dismiss the robbery charge in exchange for a guilty plea on the other two charges. Baker had been out of custody on zero bail to await sentencing after pleading guilty to the two charges in mid-November. Baker has a new hearing in the case scheduled for Tuesday.

Management at the Ox Cart tried to remain upbeat in a Facebook post about the crash jesting about the “drive-thru” and said, “Luckily nobody was hurt!” They plan to have the restaurant back open by April 1, they said, in time for spring training for the St. Paul Saints.

Jody Shaquille Bady, 29, of Crystal was charged on Thursday in Hennepin County District Court related to the double shooting earlier this month at the Uptown Minneapolis Breakfast Klub at Lagoon and Fremont avenues.

Jody Shaquille Bady (Anoka County Jail 2022 mugshot)

Bady has been charged with five felonies including four counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Charges say Bady was inside the restaurant when a group of four entered. Bady approached the group with his hand in his pocket and appeared to be holding onto something. A verbal altercation ensued near the entryway of the restaurant. Witnesses told police that Bady brandished a gun, pointed it at the group and began firing shots as the group fled into the restaurant.

Surveillance video from the restaurant obtained by police showed the restaurant door open and the group fleeing away from the door as apparent shots were fired into the restaurant. Other video showed Bady running away with what appeared to be a gun in his hand.

The complaint states, “Investigators are aware that some parties involved in this altercation are confirmed members of criminal street gangs, and the investigation into the motive for the shooting is ongoing.”

As a felon, Bady is prohibited from possessing firearms. Bady has two prior felony convictions including fourth-degree assault on police in Hennepin County, and fifth-degree possession of heroin in Beltrami County. He originally received stays in both cases.

Records show Bady posted a $200,000 bond and was released from custody on Sunday.

The Minneapolis Police Department asked for the public’s help on Friday with information on the owner/operator or the location of a suspect vehicle involved in an injury hit and run of a pedestrian on Jan. 16 at 26th and Lyndale Avenue South.

Suspect vehicle in Jan. 16, 2023, hit and run (Minneapolis Police Dept.)

Dispatch audio from the time of the crash indicated that victim was a female in her 20s who was transported to the hospital with significant facial trauma. The extent of any other injuries isn’t known.

Police provided the following description of the white Ford Econoline Van:

  • A black bumper and grill on the front
  • Three windows on the passenger side doors
  • One window on the driver’s side.
  • Two windows on the rear doors.
  • Lettering and/or a logo on the upper rear corner of the driver side
  • Lettering and/or a logo on the upper rear corner of the passenger side
  • A roof rack with ladders. One of the ladders on the rack is yellow.
  • A damaged, missing, or new passenger side mirror.

Tips may be emailed to cbyvprgvcf@zvaarncbyvfza.tbi, provided by voicemail at 612-673-5845, or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or The incident number is 23-011887.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities issued a safety alert about shots fired from a vehicle Friday about 11:35 p.m. in the Dinkytown area of 12th Avenue Southeast and 5th Street Southeast. The incident was dispatched to MPD officers to investigate, according to dispatch audio at the time. No follow-up information was made available.

The City of Golden Valley on Friday posted an update on their website about their public safety staffing numbers. They said that the Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD) is budgeted for 31 sworn officers and eight community service officers. However, they are currently operating with only 14 sworn officers — less than half the budgeted number — and eight non-sworn community service officers. Of this number, eight sworn officers and all of the community service officers are responding to 911 calls, they said.

In the interim, the GVPD is also partnering with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to provide added assistance in responding to 911 calls and is exploring additional options to further meet the community’s needs.

Additionally, over the last year, the Golden Valley Fire Department (GVFD) has been transitioning to a duty crew staffing model. The result is that they are responding to more 911 medical calls, which make up approximately 75 percent of all 911 calls, the city said.

The most recent crime comparison numbers available on the city’s website are from 2020 to 2021 during which violent crimes in Golden Valley rose by 25% while property crimes were down about 7%. An inquiry to the police department for more recent numbers wasn’t responded to in time for this report.

It was just last month that recently appointed Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil L. Green apologized via social media and the city’s website for the image of a “thin blue line flag” that he said “offended some who viewed it” as part of police department social media posts recognizing National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

The original social media posts with the flag were removed, so the actual number of people who complained wasn’t able to be gleaned. However, the Facebook and Twitter apology posts were widely panned by commenters.

Before 8 p.m. Sunday, St. Paul police were dispatched on a report of shots fired on the 1000 block of Kingsford Street in the Greater East Side area, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived and found multiple shell casings on scene and were checking nearby residences for security videos. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Officers requested a response from any gang unit investigators, but none were available at the time. No public information was released by SPPD about the incident.

Around Minnesota

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office reported on Friday that their Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF) had coordinated with local agencies on a large narcotics seizure in southern Minnesota stemming from a VOTF narcotics investigation in the metro area.

They said detectives had learned that one of the suspects was returning to Minnesota with a large quantity of narcotics, so detectives responded to southern Minnesota to interdict the suspects. As a result, approximately 45,000 fentanyl pills and a kilo of cocaine were seized when the suspects were intercepted in Freeborn County.

Drugs seized in a joint operation by Hennepin County and Freeborn County authorities (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

HCSO said four suspects were arrested and two were eventually charged including Cortez Ananias Williams, 22, and Savontray Orlando Dwayne Collins, 22, both of south Minneapolis. Both have been charged in Freeborn County District Court with first-degree aggravated controlled substance, Williams on two counts and Collins on one count. Records show that both parties have posted bond amounts of $250,000 each and are both out of custody.

Court records show Williams has prior convictions for second-degree manslaughter and third-degree burglary in separate cases. Williams was convicted in 2017 at the age of 17 for “accidentally” shooting and killing his friend during a gun exchange in Crystal, Minn. He served 33 months incarcerated of the imposed 50-month sentence.

Most recently, Williams was convicted in Nov. 2021 for burglarizing a south Minneapolis pharmacy on April 12, 2021, during the rioting aftermath of the Daunte Wright shooting by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Williams received a stay on the 21-month prison sentence by Hennepin County Judge Gina M. Brandt.

Court records show Collins has two 2017 convictions on being a felon in possession of a firearm. The five-year prison sentences in both cases were stayed by former Hennepin County Judge Martha Holton Dimick, and Collins was instead sentenced to 180 days in the workhouse.

A request for booking photos of Williams and Collins was not responded to in time for this report.

The Fargo, North Dakota police department issued a notification on Friday about a “high risk sex offender” who had located to an address in their city, directly across from the Minnesota border.

Jerry Verl Holmes Sr. (Fargo, ND Police Dept.)

Jerry Verl Holmes, Sr., 55, has registered to live in an upstairs unit on the 1100 block of 4th Avenue North. Holmes was convicted in Williams County District Court, ND, in 2010 on one count of corruption of a minor. His victim was a 17-year-old female, and Holmes is required to register as a predatory offender for life.

– – –

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


Crime Watch MN
 | Website

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