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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
Da’Qwan Jones-Morris

Teen pleads guilty in friend's accidental shooting in St. Paul

Da'Qwan Jones-Morris was killed as his friends played with a stolen gun.
John Robert Capers, 65, is charged second-degree murder in connection with the 1992 death of Annette Seymour.

DNA evidence leads to charges in woman's 1992 St. Paul stabbing death

John Robert Capers is suspected of killing Annette Seymour.
Maj. Nathan Burr and Lt. Col. Brandi Degier, who both knew the three soldiers, comforted each other before Saturday’s news conference about the cras

Grief over 3 Minnesota soldiers lost in copter crash goes worldwide

Hundreds paid tribute Saturday to three Minnesota National Guard members who died when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed this week in a snowy Stearns County farm field.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Police Chief Todd Axtell at a news conference in St. Paul in September.

ACLU lawsuit: City of St. Paul improperly withholding police data

The lawsuit said police "unlawfully refused" to provide public information.
Kjersten Schladetzky, with sons William, 11, and Nelson, 8.

Man who fatally shot sons, ex-wife in Mpls. left suicide note

Hennepin County court records and autopsies reveal new details about the triple-murder suicide that's shaken many.
Police say drunken driver caused crash that injured 4 in Coon Rapids

Police say drunken driver caused crash that injured 4 in Coon Rapids

Two young children were among the injured.
A Twitter spokeswoman told media outlets that Danielle Stella’s personal and campaign accounts were shut down for “repeated violations” of the s

Twitter bans Rep. Ilhan Omar's challenger over hanging comment

A Twitter spokeswoman told media outlets that Danielle Stella's personal and campaign accounts were shut down for "repeated violations" of the social media platform's rules.

Woman dies in Minneapolis shooting; man under arrest

Police said the shooting appears to be related to domestic violence.
Teenage girl stabs man who attacked her on Metro Transit bus in South St. Paul

Teenage girl stabs man who attacked her on Metro Transit bus in South St. Paul

A motive remains unclear in the Tuesday night incident.

Charges: St. Paul man shot himself by accident during police chase

The man suffered a gunshot in the stomach.

Teen boy charged with assaulting Andover High student, threatening teachers

It's not known what provoked Monday's attack.
The pilot of this plane was able to walk away without any injuries after crashing into power lines in Louisville Township, Scott County Sheriff Luke H

Shakopee pilot crashes into high-voltage power lines, escapes without injury

Xcel Energy crews worked to extract the plane.
This undated photo provided by officials in Buffalo Grove Ill,. shows Anatoliy Ermak. Police in the Chicago suburb had been searching for the 64-year-

Man suspected in Illinois double murder shoots himself in standoff with Edina police

Anatoliy Ermak remained in critical condition on Saturday.
Man shot in St. Paul's West Frogtown neighborhood

Man shot in St. Paul's West Frogtown neighborhood

He suffered noncritical injuries.

Two Minneapolis firefighters slightly injured battling Lowry Hill fire

A civilian was also hospitalized after their vehicle collided with a firetruck heading to the scene.
Officer Heidi Eisenbeis watched video evidence in Minneapolis. St. Paul’s police chief wants ShotSpotter technology, but the mayor has doubts.

As gunfire continues in St. Paul, so does ShotSpotter debate

In St. Paul, leaders debate whether ShotSpotter technology is a useful tool or an unproven sales pitch.
Water Gremlin employees made their way into the lot as its doors reopened for production earlier this month in White Bear Township.

Judge orders Water Gremlin to finalize cleanup plans

Judge Leonardo Castro ruled that the company must begin immediate remediation plans to clean up lead contamination in employees' vehicles, test their homes for lead and carry out abatement if needed.
The secondary checkpoint offers some relief at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where long lines were seen last month no matter whether peo

MSP Airport reopens security checkpoint between hotel, Terminal 1

Airport leaders brokered a deal with TSA ahead of the busy Thanksgiving travel season.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Police Chief Todd Axtell at a news conference in St. Paul in September.

Mayor Carter, Chief Axtell split on approach to gun violence

The mayor outlined a wide-ranging proposal that would use a "community-first" approach to confront what he calls a public health crisis. Police Chief Todd Axtell did not attend the presentation.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

As homicides surge, St. Paul mayor to ask for $1M more for public safety

The mayor will give a budget presentation to the City Council on Wednesday.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, top, listened in on small groups of community listening circles earlier this month.

Residents say connections, honest conversations can help St. Paul curb violence

At final forum on curbing violence, painful conversations are acknowledged as productive.
Police investigate the scene of a triple shooting near the corner of North Ilion Avenue and North Hillside Avenue in Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday, No

3 wounded in drive-by shooting in north Minneapolis

One is in critical condition, while the other two suffered noncritical wounds, police said.
Isaac Harris, of Inver Grove Heights, packed up his SuperShuttle van trunk with a rider’s luggage at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

SuperShuttle to end service at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport

The blue vans will stop running on Saturday. Employees say they were given 11 days' written notice.
Jeriko Dejvaun Boykin Jr., 4, kissed his grandmother Catherine Harris at a listening session Tuesday about the violence in St. Paul. Jeriko Jr. was in

Packed St. Paul forum questions why deadly violence persists

Mayor Melvin Carter told the overflow crowd that a new strategy is needed.
Man in custody after shooting, car crash in north Minneapolis

Man in custody after shooting, car crash in north Minneapolis

A man found with a gunshot wound after the crash was in critical condition.
Leroy Davis-Miles

Minneapolis man charged in brutal attack on 75-year-old bus passenger

The victim suffered a critical brain injury and is not suspected to survive.

Blaine man charged in shooting at St. Paul gas station

The suspect, who is charged with firing at an occupied car, was subsequently shot and wounded by a U.S. marshal.
“What I hear you tell me is that we need a new approach,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter told an overflow crowd Thursday night at a community forum

Frustration strong at St. Paul listening session on gun violence

Mayor Melvin Carter acknowledged the range of emotions facing a community plagued by gun violence just one day after the city tallied its 29th homicide — the highest number in 25 years.
St. Paul police investigated a shooting on E. Annapolis Street on the city’s West Side. Neighbors said the shooting involved juveniles.

Shootings in St. Paul: Teen dead in one, marshal fires in other

The fresh shootings came even as the city's police chief had sought to reassure residents that his department is doing everything it can to quell the violence.
A police officer pulled tape across the street where a male suspect died Monday in Cottage Grove.

Minnesota BCA: Crime-spree suspect killed himself in Cottage Grove

An autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office determined that Noah Erickson, 34, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
St. Paul police investigators were on the scene of a multiple shooting with at least one dead Saturday night near the intersection of Maryland Ave. E

At least one dead after two shot on St. Paul's East Side

The death is the fourth homicide of the week in a city struggling with gang violence.
State Sen. Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis

State Sen. Scott Dibble says he's the victim of a revenge porn scheme

A former intimate partner sent images to his colleagues, the DFL state senator says.

Man and woman in their 80s in critical condition after being hit by car in New Hope

It happened near House of Hope Lutheran Church at 4800 N. Boone Av. around 6:50 p.m.

Death of north Minneapolis man in home is ruled a homicide

Justin O. Harris, of Minneapolis, died of multiple gunshot wounds inside his home on the 3900 block of N. Lyndale Avenue, according to an autopsy.
Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Kansas have all axed 3.2 beer requirements, leaving Minnesota drinking it alone.

Minnesota is now drinking alone when it comes to 3.2 beer

Starting Friday, Minnesota will have the distinction of being the last state in the nation to sell 3.2% alcohol beer — the often maligned weak…
Former St. Paul police officer Tou Cha, walks out of the St. Paul Police department after resigning.

Former St. Paul police officer sentenced for assault

Tou Cha was central in a case that led to the firings of five officers.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, right, and Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, listened to prisoners’ stories about being separated from their

Minnesota lawmakers urge changes for moms behind bars

Officials want imprisoned moms to have more time with kids.
In September, police lined up as onlookers shouted after an officer-involved shooting in Richfield by Edina police.

Protesters calling on Edina, Richfield police to release video of fatal shooting march in downtown Minneapolis, blocking trains

Activists rallied at the Hennepin County Government Center before marching downtown, briefly blocking intersections and tracks.
In September, police used tape to expand the crime scene as they tried to block the view of a body at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Eas

Edina police won't release dashcam footage of fatal shooting

Along with Richfield, the department reversed its earlier decision, citing an ongoing investigation.
Missing 5-year-old Minneapolis girl is found safe

Missing 5-year-old Minneapolis girl is found safe

The child was taken from her father's apartment by her noncustodial mother, police say.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

Mayor Carter on racist threats: 'I'm not going to dwell on nasty experiences'

St. Paul police are investigating who may have sent threatening and racist messages to Mayor Melvin Carter in the days leading up to a contentious vote on organized trash collection.
Greg Fee, a technician with Comcast, was en route to a service call when saw a building on fire and helped four people escape.

Grizzly attack rescuer, civilians among those honored by Minneapolis fire officials

Annual Fire Department ceremony recognizes selfless individuals.
Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell organized a prison book club, which included inmates like Richard Scheibe, above, and a dozen guests.

For Stillwater inmates, book club marks a new chapter

The book club marked one of the first inside a Minnesota penitentiary, and a rare chance for offenders to convene with community members as equals over literature.
Minnesota corrections officer charged with sexually assaulting female inmate

Minnesota corrections officer charged with sexually assaulting female inmate

Under Minnesota law, inmates cannot legally give consent, largely due to the uneven power dynamic between officers and offenders.

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.