Man shot to death in car in New Hope

  • Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 8:28 PM

Victim had been attending AA meeting in New Hope.

Kent Walker Jr. was a quiet, reclusive person who liked to spend afternoons at the library. He could also frequently be found at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, playing cards with members late into the evening.

He was attending a meeting in New Hope Thursday when he was found shot in his car in a nearby lot about 8:30 p.m., said Bill Andrews, who rented a room to Walker at his Fridley home.

Nobody has been arrested and police weren’t willing to discuss a motive, said Capt. Scott Slawson. On Monday, investigators will evaluate the evidence they’ve been collecting, he said.

“We don’t know all the facts yet,” he said.

Police said it had been several years since the last homicide in New Hope.

Walker, 59, was found at 7600 Bass Lake Road with multiple gunshot wounds, said the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office. It ruled the death a homicide and released his identity Sunday.

Andrews didn’t want to speculate about why somebody would want to kill Walker. He had rented him the room for more than a year and about once a month they would share a cup of coffee.

“He would just mind his own business,” said Andrews. “He just kind of faded into the woodwork.”

Walker had been living on disability checks since a serious stroke six or seven years ago, he said, and had trouble walking.

“He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” said Andrews. “Maybe some crazy person did this. Maybe he got in the way of something.”

Andrews said police have spoken to him several times and want to search the contents of Walker’s room.

When Walker went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, he would sometimes stay out late and play gin or cribbage with friends, he said. Some weekends he would spend Up North with relatives.

His death was “very much a shock” to everybody who knows him, said Andrews. He believed Walker’s son and father lived in St. Paul.

Neither could be reached for comment.

“I never had a problem with him. He was a damn nice guy,” Andrews said.

David Chanen • 612-673-4465

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