Teen charged with murder, assault in Roseville family attack
A 17-year-old is now charged with murder and assault after authorities say he attacked several of his family members and killed his grandmother.
Thursday, Ramsey County prosecutors charged the 17-year-old with second-degree intentional murder and two counts of first-degree assault.
Roseville police were called to the 1100 block of Ryan Avenue West just after 10:20 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a domestic assault. The juvenile petition notes the family member who called 911 said the teen “went crazy,” attacking family members with a baseball bat before running away.
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The attack led to a shelter-in-place order that was inadvertently issued broadly to cellphones across the Twin Cities metro area.
Inside the home, officers found the teen’s 23-year-old sister and 55-year-old mother bloodied with serious head and facial wounds, court documents state. In a bedroom, officers found the teen’s 88-year-old grandmother covered in blood with apparent stab wounds to her neck. She was pronounced dead when medics arrived at the scene.
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The mother and sister were taken to a hospital for treatment. Court documents note the sister had several cuts to her scalp, including a large wound, that required 10 sutures and seven staples. The mother suffered facial, skull, jaw, arm and hand fractures, as well as several cuts to her scalp and a serious lip injury, requiring surgery and additional treatment that is ongoing.
A nurse at the hospital told police that the sister’s and mother’s injuries will result in permanent disfigurement.
Officers noted a multi-tool with a knife blade was open and lying on the grandmother’s chest. Additionally, detectives found an aluminum bat with blood on it near the front door and “a significant amount of blood in the stairwell and hallways,” according to court documents.
A sibling told officers she awoke to screams coming from downstairs, then ran downstairs and saw her sister with a bloody face, struggling with her 17-year-old brother over a baseball bat, a juvenile petition states. The girl called 911 and saw her brother drop the bat and run away. Another sibling said her dad and brother were at work when she awoke to screams and also saw her sister struggling with her 17-year-old brother over the bat. She added that she tried to help restrain her brother but he dropped the bat and ran away.
At the hospital, the mother told police she was upstairs when she heard the grandmother ring a bell she uses when she needs help. The juvenile petition states that when the mother went to the grandmother’s room, her 17-year-old son suddenly attacked her.
The 23-year-old sister said she woke up to her mother and brother yelling. When she went to see what was going on, her 17-year-old brother was swinging a metal bat and attacked her, hitting her in the head multiple times. She added that she felt like her brother was going to kill her and her entire family, the juvenile petition states.
Roseville Police Chief Erika Scheider said a citizen who received the emergency alert contacted police later in the morning and reported seeing the 17-year-old near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Just before 11:10 a.m., St. Paul police found the 17-year-old walking on Stella Street toward Como Avenue. Officers noted he was wearing pajama shorts and had dried blood on his body and clothes. He was then arrested without incident.
Arresting officers also noted the teen’s eyes were wide open and glazed over, and he seemed unable to talk. That continued when officers tried to interview him at the police department, with a detective describing his look as a “thousand-yard stare.” The teen did say he felt like he was “going crazy” and “being someone else,” court documents state.
When asked if he felt someone used his body during the attack, the teen replied, “I’d like to say that it is not me. I’m not very sure who me is.” He was also asked if he felt responsible and said, “I think I have to be,” according to the petition.
Prosecutors have moved to have the teen certified as an adult. His first court appearance is set for Thursday afternoon.
“This is a heartbreaking case. We will do everything in our power to support this family’s healing as it proceeds through our justice system,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement. “A very special thank you to the first responders in the Roseville law enforcement community for their work these past few days.”