Woman takes plea deal for 2022 St. Paul gas station hostage situation

Documents filed in Ramsey County court show a woman charged with multiple counts of kidnapping for a 2022 incident has taken a plea deal.

According to the guilty petition filed Monday, 33-year-old Kanisha Wiggins has agreed to plead guilty to two of the four charges of kidnapping filed against her. In exchange, the document says prosecutors are willing to dismiss the other two charges, pending a judge’s agreement.

As 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported on March 1, 2022, police were called to a Speedway gas station located at East Seventh Street and Johnson Parkway for a woman reportedly threatening others with a gun and holding them hostage.

The criminal complaint for Wiggins’ case states she was a former employee at the store and told officers during negotiations that if she couldn’t speak to her father in federal prison she’d start shooting hostages. She added that she would send one of the hostages out to get her phone out of her car but if the hostage didn’t return, she’d shoot the other hostages.

RELATED: Woman charged following hostage situation at St. Paul gas station

During negotiations, one of the hostages sprinted out and was taken to safety by officers. The complaint states a gunshot was then heard, and officers forced their way into the store by shooting and prying out a panel of the glass door.

Once inside, officers helped the other three hostages out and found Wiggins in a storage room, the complaint states. Police also found a black and silver handgun with a 9 mm round in the chamber.

One of the hostages told police Wiggins was frustrated when the one hostage ran out and didn’t come back with her phone, and she fired the gun – but not at anyone. However, she did tell one of the hostages to get on the ground as if he’d been hit by a bullet, the complaint states.

Another of the hostages said they were held in the store for about an hour.

According to another hostage, Wiggins walked in and said she needed help and a hug. When they went to the back office together, Wiggins pulled out the gun and told the hostage to get rid of some of the customers. She told seven to 10 customers to leave before Wiggins gathered the rest in the cash register area. The hostage told police Wiggins was upset about her father, and said he was being falsely imprisoned.

Wiggins didn’t participate in an interview with police, the complaint states, but her mother called her daughter “unstable,” saying she’s been acting strangely since she returned from Tennessee in December. She also told police her daughter “drinks a lot” and had gotten into “witchcraft and spiritual stuff.”

The complaint goes on to note police had responded to an incident a day earlier involving Wiggins, when she reported her father had given her brother a piece of poisoned cake. Medics found no evidence her brother had been poisoned.

Her sentencing has been scheduled for the afternoon of June 5.