Staff Directory 270190981

Liz Sawyer

Reporter | Breaking news, crime and corrections
Phone: 612-673-4648
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Liz Sawyer covers breaking news, crime and corrections for the Star Tribune. She previously wrote about suburban life in the south metro.


Sawyer graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in newspaper and online journalism. She worships her alma mater's college hoops team and believes that an orange is, in fact, a suitable mascot.
Recent content from Liz Sawyer

Ramsey County sheriff seeks help finding sexual assault suspect

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect linked to at least three sexual assaults and a burglary…
Minneapolis police investigated the scene where a shooting victim was found dead on N. Lyndale Avenue North near 18th on Friday night.

1 killed, 1 wounded in north Minneapolis shooting

The death marked the city's 35th homicide of 2019.
Diane and Roger Peterson

Man sentenced to 47 years in deaths of Eagan couple he hit with minivan

Jonna Armartey used his vehicle as a weapon to target two complete strangers, authorities say.

Death after June shooting in north Minneapolis ruled a homicide

The death of a 28-year-old man who was gunned down on a north Minneapolis street corner in mid-June and died three weeks later has officially…
St. Paul police officer Alexander Graham

3 St. Paul officers in video of teen's arrest are focus of inquiry

The teen's mother said her daughter has been battling mental illness and accused authorities of provoking her with an overly aggressive response.
Around the region,farms have faced mounting pressures on all sides, including an international trade war, as well as spring floods and threats of an e

Minnesota agencies launch rural mental health initiative

New statewide initiative targets suicide prevention.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

13-year-old girl videotaped in struggle with St. Paul officers is charged with felony

Mayor Melvin Carter has called for an inquiry into the arrest.
Investigators worked the scene of a homicide on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 at the Cedars 94 apartment complex in Minneapolis.

1 fatally shot, 1 injured in Minneapolis' Seward neighborhood

It happened hours after downtown leaders asked for more police officers.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Police Chief Todd Axtell

Video of teen's arrest leads to call for internal affairs investigation in St. Paul

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter calls footage "deeply disturbing." Police said the girl, 13, resisted arrest.

Bicyclist struck, killed by motorist on wet road in Waseca County

A Waseca man who was riding his bike in southern Minnesota was struck and killed by a motorist early Tuesday morning. Anthony M. Hodge, 30,…
Ramsey County patrol deputies are now wearing body cameras across the department.

Ramsey County sheriff's deputies start using body cameras

All 400 deputies and corrections officers will have them by year's end.
Mary Johnson-Roy gave a hug to Pastor Marea Perry, who spoke about the pain of losing her son . Both women have lost their sons to homicide.

Citizens, law enforcement vow to find ways to end bloodshed in St. Paul

They agree — St. Paul deserves better.
Residents in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood were shaken by Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Terry L. Edwards at the intersection of N. Mendot

St. Paul struggles as gun slayings spike in September

The jump in homicidal violence is reverberating from residential neighborhoods to City Hall.
New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier said a suspect was arrested in the Coon Rapids drug bust for cartridges worth $3.8 million.

75,000 vaping cartridges loaded with THC seized in Anoka County

The record seizure included packages illustrated with cartoon and fruit-flavored themes.
St. Paul officers and investigators responded to the intersection of Mendota Street and Fremont Avenue E. where a man was shot and killed earlier Tues

Fatal shooting in Dayton's Bluff is St. Paul's 21st homicide of year

Officers responded to the intersection of Mendota Street and Fremont Avenue E. around 7:30 p.m., where they found a man with a gunshot wound.

Tornado warning lifted for counties in central Minnesota

The warning is in effect until at least 4:45 p.m.
Family and friends of RayVell Carter, as well as neighbors and members of the faith community, took part in a prayer circle Wednesday afternoon outsid

'They shot my dad!' girl cried after fatal shooting outside St. Paul church

Despite their shock and sadness, many who live near the scene said they won't let what happened mar their feelings about the neighborhood.
Mary Peeples, who lives near St. Albans Church of God, the scene of a fatal shooting late Wednesday, leaves flowers outside the church. Police say a S

St. Paul police: Man is fatally shot leaving church with daughter and father, who returned fire

Responding officers found a trail of blood that led to the victim. Paramedics performed CPR, but the man died at the scene.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN.

St. Cloud hate crime forum postponed 'due to safety concerns'

Organizers pledge to reschedule the event, but a new date has not been set.

Boy hospitalized after being struck by Green Line train in St. Paul

The child was trying to cross the Victoria Street platform as the train pulled away.
Police sequestered an area where a police-involved shooting occurred Sunday night near North Griggs and Thomas Ave West in St. Paul.

Minnesota BCA identifies St. Paul officer who fatally shot man who rammed his SUV

Officer Steven Mattson, a rookie who's been with the department less than a year, shot and killed Ronald K. Davis of Little Canada.
Goodwin

Suzanne Goodwin, gregarious interior designer with flair for fashion, dies at 75

Her ability to transform houses into elegant and sophisticated living spaces made her well known throughout the Twin Cities .
Police lined up as onlookers shouted after an officer-involved shooting Saturday night in Richfield by Edina police.

Man livestreams chase before fatal encounter with Edina police

Up to 12 minutes of the pursuit, which ended in Richfield, was livestreamed on Facebook.
Police remained at the intersection of Midway Parkway and Snelling Avenue near the main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair late Monday night after a

Gang violence marred final hours of Minnesota State Fair

With residents alarmed over gang violence outside gate, officials stress the event's safety.

Two found dead in New Brighton

Emergency dispatchers told officers that the caller's husband had threatened to kill his daughter.
Police vehicles remained at the intersection of Midway Parkway and Snelling Avenue near the main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair grounds late Mon

Police hunt for suspects in 'brazen,' 'lawless' shooting outside fair

Gov. Tim Walz decried the gunfire, which left 3 hurt, and fair officials said safety is their top priority.
Red Cross volunteer Dennis Cadman packs a pallet of snacks for delivery to Trinity On The Hill United Methodist Church, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 in Augu

How Minnesotans can help those affected by Hurricane Dorian

Minnesota groups also are mobilizing to get aid in the hands of those hurting because of the massive storm.
Police vehicles remained at the intersection of Midway Parkway and Snelling Ave. near the main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair grounds late Monda

Three shot, one run over outside front gate as State Fair ends

The chaotic scene erupted around 10:20 p.m. outside the gate at Snelling Avenue and Midway Parkway as the fair was closing for the year.
Brooklyn Center police shot and killed a 21-year-old man whom they say had a knife and hammer.

Brooklyn Center police shoot, kill man during domestic disturbance call

The initial call reported that a man with a hammer and knife was fighting with his grandparents.
Pedestrian struck, killed by Green Line train in St. Paul

Pedestrian struck, killed by Green Line train in St. Paul

After an eastbound train passed by, the woman was struck by an incoming westbound train, Metro Transit said.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released this photo of Dylan Bennett in custody in Cancun, Mexico.

Son charged in Long Prairie parents' killings nabbed after Mexico manhunt

'They were trying to salvage ... [their sons'] lives,' a friend said of the slain couple from Long Prairie, Minn.

Mayo to close its La Crescent clinic in November

Mayo Clinic announced Friday that it will shutter its primary care clinic based in La Crescent, Minn., this fall and consolidate its health services…

Savage fire chief resigns, citing 'mental, physical and emotional toll' of job demands

Andrain Roach says he wasn't given resources to improve services in city.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) workers installed new placards changing East and West Lake Calhoun Parkways to East and West Bde Maka Ska

Back and forth continues as new Bde Maka Ska signs start to go up

But the official name of the lake remains in limbo.
Hopkins police officer Sgt. Mike Glassberg was out patrolling Hopkins roads looking for violators on the first day of the new hands-free law. Officers

In first week of hands-free law, 678 Minnesotans cited

Forty percent of the citations were in Hennepin County.
Police: Suspect in custody after woman fatally shot in Brooklyn Park

Police: Suspect in custody after woman fatally shot in Brooklyn Park

Witnesses reported seeing the woman, whose name was not released, speaking with a man in the parking lot before she was shot.
Amy Kyllo, of Byron, was crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Wednesday, August 21, 2

19-year-old woman from Olmsted County crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way

Her first official duty is having her likeness carved into a block of butter.
ROAR organizer Jenna Cruz introduced Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison at Tuesday night's meeting in Chaska.

Parents push for answers in Eastern Carver district after racist incidents

About 30 people meet for discussion with state attorney general.
Mia Gonzalez, 2, enjoyed the swings on the beach with her family from Texas, including her aunt Alya Gonzalez as they stayed clear of the water in Lak

Lake Nokomis beaches closed after E. coli sickens 3 kids

The Minneapolis lake's two popular beaches will remain shut down until further notice while the state Department of Health investigates. Health officials ask anyone who fell ill to contact them.
Flash flooding developed in north Minneapolis at W. Broadway and Interstate 94.

Twin Cities, southern Minnesota clean up after storms, several funnels

The heavy rain was bringing some flash flooding concerns. Elsewhere, the systems were spawning hail and possible tornadoes.
Brendon Garza

Charges: Social media dispute prompted triple shooting in Maplewood

A 23-year-old St. Paul man faces attempted murder charges. The victims were 12, 15 and 21.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the scene after Minneapolis police shot and killed a man last week on the 2400 block of N. Emer

Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed man identified; man had shot his girlfriend

Investigators say Mario Benjamin, 32, shot his girlfriend in front of the couple's children before police arrived.
Gov. Tim Walz addressed a rally against gun violence on Wednesday night at the Minnesota State Capitol, flanked by Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, left, and

Walz calls GOP Senate 'island of resistance' in gun debate

The governor echoed the statements later as hundreds rallied at the State Capitol in a rally against gun violence.
The home outside Barron, Wis., where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise, pictured in October.

Wis. home where Jayme Closs was kidnapped, parents slain is torn down

The bank that owned the property had it demolished Tuesday.
The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated the scene after Minneapolis police shot and killed a man Friday on the 2400 block of Emerson Av

Man shot and killed by Minneapolis police is identified

Mario Philip Benjamin, 32, died of multiple gunshot wounds, autopsy shows.
Five injured in Metro Mobility bus crash in Blaine

Five injured in Metro Mobility bus crash in Blaine

Five people were injured after an SUV blew through a red light in Blaine Friday evening, striking a Metro Mobility bus. The State Patrol responded…
Authorities are looking for this two-door red Acura RSX in connection with the attempted abduction of a 7-year-old girl in Fridley on Friday.

Man tore 7-year-old girl off bike in Fridley abduction try, charges say

A witness yelled at the driver, who then fled, according to charges.
Brian Short and Karen Preiss Short, with their three kids, Madison, Brooklyn and Cole.

Suit claims Park Nicollet didn't do enough to treat Lake Minnetonka man who killed family, himself

Park Nicollet says it gave appropriate care to Brian Short, who killed his wife and children.

Man drowns in Maple Grove lake after police pursuit

It began hours earlier, when Corcoran and Rogers officers were trying to track down a black sedan involved in suspicious activity.

Carlton County deputy and Moose Lake man he shot and wounded are ID'd

The man was shot when officers tried to arrest him.

Maple Grove woman charged in drunken boating incident that seriously injured 2 teens

The boy and girl crashed into a dock during a birthday party on Eagle Lake.
Authorities are looking for this two-door red Acura RSX in connection with the attempted abduction of a 7-year-old girl in Fridley on Friday.

Police in Fridley ask for help identifying man who tried to abduct girl, 7

Authorities have a description of the car.

West St. Paul police arrest 2 men in connection with fatal shooting

The suspects from Little Canada and Oakdale are jailed and awaiting second-degree murder charges.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Girl Scouts safe after adventure in dark and stormy BWCA

Lightning strike near Chicago-area teens' tents led to alarm, then adventure.

Girl Scouts hurt by lightning evacuated from BWCA in overnight rescue

The group of nine people made it out about 4 a.m. today, with all "awake, alert and able to move without assistance" after the lightning strike, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad said.
Brian G. Hazelton

Suspect, deputies identified in Becker County shooting

A suicidal Becker County man who was shot by deputies during an armed standoff last week has been charged with three counts of assault.
Matthew Witt

Maple Grove man charged with killing mother, beating father

Authorities say Matthew G. Witt, 42, violently beat both his parents, killing his mother at their lakeside home.
Sarah Walker, then deputy Corrections Department commissioner, at a February rally at the State Capitol.

Complaints: Minn. corrections official lobbied on state time

Sarah Walker, who stepped down last week, vehemently denies claims that she lobbied for husband's nonprofit while serving as deputy corrections commissioner.
Maple Grove woman killed during apparent domestic assault

Maple Grove woman killed during apparent domestic assault

A male victim also suffered severe injuries. Police have a male suspect in custody.

Hastings man found dead in fishing boat on Mille Lacs

A 59-year-old Hastings man was found dead Saturday in his fishing boat after it washed up on the shores of on Lake Mille Lacs during…
Deputy Corrections Department Commissioner Sarah Walker, pictured at a rally in February, has resigned.

Top deputy at state Corrections Dept. resigns amid probe

A spokeswoman said the department has received complaints about Sarah Walker, but "the investigation has not been completed."
A competitor in the Milk Carton Boat race held in 2014.

E. coli surge sends annual milk carton boat races to dry land

Instead of paddling Sunday, participants will be on foot racing while carrying their homemade ships on dry land.
A motorist drove through flash flooding along Dunwoody Boulevard near Lyndale Avenue South on Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Rain falls fast and hard, causing street flooding in Twin Cities

More than 2 inches of rain fell within an hour on Tuesday.
Norm Coleman, shown in 2015 in Washington.

Norm Coleman says all visible signs of cancer removed from his lung

The former U.S. senator also said the cancer was more invasive than thought.
From left, Lennell Martin, Jeffery Young and Ronald Greer, co-editors of the Prison Mirror and inmates at the Stillwater Correctional Facility, sat fo

Stillwater prison newspaper sheds light on life behind bars

The monthly Prison Mirror connects prisoners to the outside world.
The site of the Coffee Cup restaurant in St. Paul.

Fire ravages beloved Coffee Cup restaurant in St. Paul

A minor injury was reported. Owners vowed to repair and reopen.
St. Paul College has been put on a two-year probation by an accreditation agency.

Amid turmoil, St. Paul College put on probation

Accrediting board cited concerns about high staff turnover, underqualified instructors and a failure to assess learning.
At least six people were hurt, including three critically, when a van slammed into a crowded bus stop shelter in north Minneapolis. All six were trans

Police ID driver who crashed into Minneapolis bus stop, injuring 6

The police report lists few other details about the incident that stunned witnesses and has investigators trying to find out exactly what happened.

West St. Paul police are investigating a possible homicide

A friend found a 21-year-old man dead from gunshot wounds in his apartment.

Suspected car thief fleeing police strikes, kills motorcyclist near New Richmond, Wis.

The male on the motorcycle died at the scene, and the driver of a Jeep was taken into custody, officials said.
The search for a man missing on the Crow River was focusing on an area in St. Michael near NE. 36th Circle, officials said.

Authorities recover body of missing Maplewood man on Crow River

The man's body was discovered not far from where he was last seen by friends, said Lt. Todd Sandin.

Two men shot, wounded in downtown Minneapolis

The gunfire broke out around bar closing time. A juvenile is in custody.
Steven Parker

St. Paul man charged in back-to-back suspected hate-motivated crimes

The 59-year-old is accused of stealing from a local Walgreens while yelling profanities, referencing the manager's Mexican heritage, then violently attacking a minority worker at Metro State.
Research pigs raised for Mayo Clinic, living in a sealed environment in 2000.

Mayo Clinic halts medical testing on live animals

Research hospital joins a wave of institutions dropping use of animals.
A sign for Bde Maka Ska at 32nd Street Beach.

Three Minneapolis beaches now closed through at least July 10 due to high bacteria levels

Large volumes of stormwater caused the problem.