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Minn. roundup: Hopkins man charged with ax-murdering neighbor; St. Paul man charged in bystander's shooting

Hopkins man charged with ax-murdering neighbor

MINNEAPOLIS — A 24-year-old Hopkins man has been charged with killing his 67-year-old neighbor with an ax-like tool last week, the Hennepin County attorney's office says.

According to a Monday, Aug. 28, criminal complaint charging Mitchell Edward Hoogenakker with second-degree murder, he went to the home of the victim, John Gallagher Jr., on Friday morning.

According to the complaint, police were called to Gallagher's home, where they found the victim lying in the front yard in the 200 block of 10th Avenue. He was dead, having suffered numerous wounds to his back and head.

Gallagher's wife told police that she had been lying on the couch in the living room when she heard a noise at the front door and saw Hoogenakker breaking into the house. She ran to call 911 and saw Hoogenakker pull her husband into the living room and onto the floor, where he hit Gallagher, swinging the tool with both arms, before pulling him outside.

A man who is a renter in the Gallagher home said he heard a fight downstairs that then spilled outside. The renter told police he saw the attacker walking away from the house. Police used a dog to track the man to a house a few blocks away, in the 300 block of Ninth Avenue.

Hoogenakker came outside and was arrested by police, who found the ax-like tool in a closet. " Hoogenakker" was etched into the handle. Hoogenakker also admitted that he attacked Gallagher, who had an active harassment restraining order in effect against the suspect.

Hoogenakker is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday, and bail of $1 million will be requested, the county attorney's office said.


St. Paul man charged in bystander's shooting

MINNEAPOLIS — Authorities have charged a St. Paul man in connection with the shooting of an innocent bystander in downtown Minneapolis last week.

Delorien Chatman, 28, is charged with two counts of assault and one count of possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent. Chatman's bail has been set at $500,000.

"We requested a higher bail in this case because the alleged shooting by Mr. Chatman seriously injured an innocent man," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in a statement on the charges. "As I've said before, we will continue to use the tools available to us to combat these senseless shootings."

Authorities say that at 7:17 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, police arrived at a reported shooting scene near a bus stop at Sixth Street and Hennepin Avenue. They found a man with a gunshot wound to his stomach. Witnesses told police the man was an innocent bystander, according to the criminal complaint.

Two men had gotten into a fight and the alleged gunman was knocked to the ground, according to witnesses. He fired a shot that hit the other man and then ran away, according to the complaint.

Based on witness descriptions of what the shooter wore as well as surveillance video, Chatman was later arrested.

According to the complaint, Chatman denied being in Minneapolis on the day of the shooting and said that he doesn't go to that city's downtown. Chatman continued to tell authorities this even after being shown images of him in Minneapolis.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday, Aug. 29.