A lawyer on Sunday identified the man who killed a woman at a Plymouth intersection Friday and then died in a hail of gunfire with police.
The shooter in the incident was Corey A. Perry and his victim was his fiancée, Trisha Nelson, both 28, attorney Michael Padden said.
Police Chief Mike Goldstein said the suspect pursued and fatally shot the woman after she fled their car Friday night as horrified motorists looked on.
The man then retreated a couple of miles northwest to the Stoneleigh Apartments in Plymouth, where he and the woman had lived together, Goldstein said. After barreling into the parking garage, he crashed into parked vehicles, pointed a gun at residents and exchanged gunfire with three police officers. The suspect was killed and two officers suffered minor wounds.
Padden, who described Perry as a “nice man,” said he was out with his father and brother drinking at a bar in Uptown in Minneapolis until about 6:30 p.m. Friday. After the three left the bar, a valet “got into the father’s face” about parking and words were exchanged.
“It caused Corey to lose it,” Padden said.
Perry, on probation and not allowed to drink or fight, was afraid that he would get in trouble again. Upset by what had happened, he called Nelson to pick him up.
“He was agitated, and he had been drinking; it just caused him to explode,” Padden said. “It’s weird, just weird … why he lost it … I don’t think anybody will ever know.”
The names of the victim and suspect have not been officially released by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.
Sheriff Rich Stanek, who appeared at the news conference with Goldstein, said the suspect had criminal convictions for violent offenses and was not legally in possession of the rifle, handgun, ammunition or “tactical vest” he was wearing.
Padden said that Perry was in the process of appealing his conviction involving a dispute outside a pizza place in Hopkins. The oral argument for the appeal would have been in 10 days, he said.
In that incident, Perry tried to break up a fight between his brother and another customer, who were arguing about parking. Perry had a concealed-carry permit but his “gun got away from him,” dropping to the ground, Padden said. “He never brandished the gun or anything like that.”
Perry left the scene and was later found at his apartment. He was convicted of carrying a gun while intoxicated and terroristic threats, which was the basis of the appeal.
He had served his sentence and was on probation when he shot Nelson. He most likely used Nelson’s gun, for which she had a concealed-carry permit, Padden said.
“What’s disconcerting is that they’re portraying this image that this kid had a long history of problems, which is complete unadulterated nonsense,” Padden said.
Alexa Nelson, a friend of Trisha Nelson’s (but no relation), said that Trisha was “probably the most caring person ever. She had nothing negative to say to anyone ever.”
The series of events leading to the shootout began when callers reported that Nelson had been shot at Northwest Boulevard and Rockford Road after having fled or been pushed out of a sports-utility vehicle that had been weaving erratically through traffic. Some callers thought she had also been run over.
Then someone called 911 to report that Perry had pointed “a long gun” at him at the apartment complex. Plymouth officers went to confront the gunman and he was killed in the subsequent gunfire, according to Goldstein. As of Sunday, information on whether the gunman had been killed by police or died by his own hand was not available.
One officer was shot in the back but was spared grave injury by his bullet-resistant vest. He and a second injured officer were taken to a hospital and kept there overnight. The third officer involved in the gunfire was not injured. All three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.