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Man charged in connection to hit-and-run death near Blaine Target

Updated: January 17, 2020 06:15 PM

A St. Paul man has been charged in connection to a hit-and-run death that occurred outside a Target in Blaine Wednesday evening. 

A criminal complaint states Pierre Jerel Anderson, 30, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder. 

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The complaint says officers were called Wednesday night on a report a man being run over by a vehicle near a Target on 109th Avenue in Blaine. 

When officers arrived, they located the victim, who was later identified as 58-year-old Kenneth Alan Niesen. Niesen later died at an area hospital. 

Suspect in custody following fatal hit-and-run in Blaine, victim identified

A number of witnesses who were interviewed told investigators that Niesen owned a business in St. Paul that had been burglarized. After the items that were stolen were listed on Facebook Marketplace, associates of Niesen made arrangements to meet the seller at the Blaine Target. 

Surveillance footage showed Niesen and several others arrive at Target and park in the back of the parking lot. The video then showed the suspect vehicle arrive and park next to the vehicle of one of Niesen's associates. 

One of the people with Niesen looked in the suspect vehicle and saw items that were believed to have been taken in the burglary. 

Niesen and his associates then pulled a second vehicle in front of the suspect vehicle to block it. As Niesen and others were approaching the suspect vehicle, it accelerated and ran Niesen over, according to the complaint. 

The complaint stated witnesses gave a description of the man driving the vehicle involved. The vehicle – which had sustained damage to the front – was later located at a Speedway in Ham Lake.

Police went around the back of the building and saw a man, later identified as Anderson, fleeing on foot. With the assistance of K-9, officers were able to bring Anderson into custody. 

If found guilty, Anderson could face up to 40 years in prison.

Niesen's family released the following statement to KSTP on Friday:

"Ken was the most wonderful son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and friend to everyone he met.  Ken was a dedicated family man. He cherished spending time watching his boys' drag race at the same tracks' where he raced. Ken loved motorcycle runs with his wife in the summer and snowmobile weekends in the winter with his family and friends.  Ken took pride in working with his father and brother for over forty years.  Words cannot express our grief.  The family is moved by all love and support they have received in the last few days - especially from the racing community."

The family also set up a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses.

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