Minneapolis homeowner claims self-defense in fatal shooting of suspected burglar
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – A 53-year-old Minneapolis woman and homeowner is claiming self-defense and protection of property in a fatal shooting in her yard last week. Court documents reveal on February 22 that a man died after being shot in the 3300 block of South 25th Avenue in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis. The owner who pulled the trigger claims she fired several warning shots. But the man walked towards her.
FOX 9’s Paul Blume reports that the Minneapolis Police Department referred the case to the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office to legally determine whether it was a case of murder or self-defense.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified the slain man as 30-year-old Martin Lee Johnson of Minneapolis. A search warrant reports that Johnson broke into the woman’s detached garage around 8:30 p.m. FOX 9 does not publicly name the owner.
She told detectives she initially fired four warning shots into the air with a handgun, but when he stepped forward and appeared to reach for her belt, she finally shot him with a rifle. .
“He’s just a loving person. It’s a shame this had to happen,” neighbor Katherine Wiley told FOX 9.
Wiley is a longtime friend of the owner and runs a daycare center in MPD’s first precinct which is just behind the Hiawatha streetcar tracks.
“The police can’t do everything themselves. That’s why we take care of each other. Our eyes and ears are in the community. That’s what it’s all about these days” , Wiley explained.
According to the search warrant, investigators found both weapons, the handgun and the rifle, in plain view inside the home. They also demanded access to the woman’s cell phones, as well as the Ring doorbell and home surveillance video recordings. The house appears to have multiple cameras and spotlights around the back of the house and garage where the shooting allegedly took place.
“You have to do what we all have to do to protect ourselves and our home. If someone tries to come up and invade your space. You know you have to call the police. You have a gun and ask someone one to leave, you will do anything,” Wiley said.
The search warrant says the owner called 911, but did not say whether Johnson was armed. The final decision is now in the hands of the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office to determine if charges are warranted or if it was a justified use of deadly force.