Coon Rapids man sentenced to prison for shooting at officer during I-94 pursuit

A Coon Rapids man learned his future in Hennepin County Court on Tuesday.

On Sept. 12, 2023, Damon Davenport Jr., 19, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and one count of first-degree burglary, according to an amended criminal complaint. He was initially charged with just the first three of those offenses in December of 2022.

Court records show the attempted murder charge, as well as the fleeing police charge, were dismissed. Davenport was then sentenced to serve a total of 75 months (just over six years) at the St. Cloud prison. He received 382 days of credit and must also pay a fine of $128.

On Sept. 15, 2022, at 2:30 a.m. Brooklyn Center police and Hennepin County deputies responded to a burglary report at an apartment near 57th Avenue and Emerson Avenue North. There, a resident said three people had entered his apartment and stole cash and items from him.

Court documents state the man identified two of the suspects as Davenport and Rashad Odell Collins.

As officers arrived, they learned that the suspects were leaving in a white Ford Fusion. A deputy saw a car matching that description driving fast and abruptly turning south. According to the criminal complaint, the deputy started following the car, which sped through multiple stop signs, and the deputy then activated his squad’s lights and started a pursuit.

RELATED: 2 charged with attempted murder of an officer in September pursuit

As the pursuit continued, the officer reported hearing multiple gunshots, and the suspect then fled onto Lyndale Avenue and then got onto Interstate 94 East.

The complaint states that, as they approached Lowry Avenue, the deputy heard another burst of gunfire, and a bullet then hit the middle of his squad’s windshield, sending glass into his squad. The deputy then stopped the pursuit to ensure his K9 partner wasn’t injured. No injuries were reported but officers weren’t able to find the Fusion again.

RELATED: UPDATE: Suspect shoots at deputy during pursuit on I-94 in Minneapolis

Investigators later found a 9 mm bullet under the deputy’s driver’s seat, too, in addition to five discharged .45-caliber casings where the deputy first heard gunfire and 19 discharged 9 mm casings near the second area where he heard gunfire.

Court documents state that investigators were later able to use surveillance footage and cellphone location data to determine Davenport was in the corresponding areas during the burglary and pursuit.

Davenport was arrested the next day as he left his girlfriend’s home. Police also found the Fusion abandoned near South High School the following day, and a discharged .45-caliber casing was found inside, as was Davenport’s DNA.

Davenport was interviewed by police after being arrested and he denied involvement in the burglary or shooting and claimed he hadn’t driven the Ford Fusion since Sept. 12.

Records show Collins has a jury trial scheduled to start just after the new year.