Hopkins Homicide Victim had Restraining Order Against Suspect, an Ex-Neighbor

August 25, 2017 07:22 PM

Hopkins police say the 24-year-old suspect arrested in connection with the death of a 67-year-old found outside his home Friday morning was a former next-door neighbor.

The 67-year-old man, who neighbors and friend identify as John Gallagher, filed a harassment retraining order against the 24-year-old suspect in late July. 


"He did everything right and this is not the normal outcome of an order like this," Sgt. Mike Glassberg, with the Hopkins Police Department, said

Glassberg said the suspect used an ax to "forcibly chop through the door," at 3:40 a.m. The suspect is said to have pulled the victim out of his home. The victim was found with "sharp force injuries" to his head and wearing "very minimal clothing."

RELATED: Homicide Investigation Launched after 67-Year-Old Man Found Dead in Hopkins

Glassberg said it is unclear if the ax was the lethal weapon. He said more information will be available when the medical examiner releases the cause of death.

The victim's wife and roommate, Will Harrison, were home at the time of the incident.  

"This family was longstanding and good people in the community, this is a sad situation," Harrison said. 

Police said the wife took cover, then called 911 and gave "critical information." Police were at the scene within minutes, but the suspect was not there.

Investigators said he'd moved a couple of blocks away to 9th Avenue, that's where they found and arrested him and recovered an ax.

Doug Blilie, a long time friend of Gallagher, called him the, "most even keel guy." 

"I can't believe he'd have an issue going on with anyone," Blilie said.

Police said there had been previous incidents that involved verbal threats, and damage to the victim's car, which he sold to his roommate.  

The police spokesperson said the department encourages anyone experiencing harassment to get an order for protection if it is a domestic case, or a harassment restraining order. 

Though he added the suspect's behavior is "not typical" of someone who has received a restraining order.

Charges are expected Monday, and more details will be available at that time. The suspect is scheduled to be taken to Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis. 

This is Hopkins first homicide since 2009. 


Theresa Malloy

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