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Man who killed customer in Dollar Store sentenced to 32 years

Grant David Henrickson (Photo courtesy of Dakota County sheriff's office)

HASTINGS, Minn. — A 28-year-old South St. Paul man who fatally shot a customer and injured another person at a Dollar Tree store in Burnsville has been sentenced to 32½ years in prison.

Dakota County District Judge Michael Mayer on Monday, June 19 sentenced Grant David Hendrickson for killing 69-year-old Donald Joseph Hortsch of Rosemount, who died of a bullet wound to the head, and injuring a 26-year-old man who was left paralyzed.

On June 6, Hendrickson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder.

The shootings, which happened Nov. 7, followed a dispute in the store involving Hendrickson, his girlfriend and a store employee, according to a criminal complaint.

The shooting victims were store customers who did not know Hendrickson, the complaint said.

"We are pleased to have brought this man to justice for this violent and senseless crime," Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom said in a statement Monday.

According to the complaint:

A witness and employees told officers that a woman entered the store and argued with a male employee. They had previously lived in the same apartment complex, and the employee told the woman she was responsible for his family being evicted. He also told her that Hendrickson, her boyfriend, was a sex offender.

About an hour later, Hendrickson entered the store and threatened the employee and pushed him. The employee punched Hendrickson in the face approximately three times.

Hendrickson was escorted out of the store, but returned and started firing shots, one of which traveled through a shelf and struck Hortsch, who was shopping.

The surviving victim, identified by the initials S.D.D., told police he went to the front of the store to buy a bottle of water when he saw Hendrickson walk in with a gun. Hendrickson fired one shot, made contact with the victim and then shot him in the right leg, near the knee. He dropped to the floor behind a product display.

"It was quiet for a second and then S.D.D. heard a third shot," the complaint read. "As S.D.D. was lying on the floor, defendant came around the corner of the display and shot S.D.D. in his torso."

Hendrickson threw a Luger 9 mm handgun out his car window as he fled the area. Police pulled him over near McAndrews Road and Nicollet Avenue, about a mile from the Dollar Tree. He was taken into custody without incident.

At the time of the shooting, Hendrickson was on supervised release from prison.

He pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving someone younger than 13. Hendrickson was sentenced to five years in prison, with 232 days' credit for time served in jail. He got out on supervised release in July 2013, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.