Suspect in north Minneapolis bicycle killing released

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 16, 2012 - 7:58 PM

Evidence against him is insufficient, prosecutors said.

A man arrested for the April 9 shooting death of a 22-year-old north Minneapolis man was released from jail Monday afternoon after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to charge him.

The 24-year-old man was detained Wednesday evening near the home he shares with his mother in Minneapolis' Folwell neighborhood. They live on the same block as the family of victim Jody Lynmarvin Patzner Jr.

The man "might be a whole lot of things, but killing someone? That is not in his vocabulary," said the man's mother.

However, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department said the man remains a suspect in the case.

The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they are formally charged with a crime.

Patzner was fatally shot in the 3500 block of Fremont Avenue N. at 8:34 p.m., about a block from his house, shortly after he had left on a bike to deliver dinner to a sick neighbor.

A witness said three youths confronted him, demanded his bike and then shot him before running away. Patzner rolled on for another 30 feet before collapsing onto the sidewalk. A witness and neighbors who ran to his aid said he was still conscious in the moments after the shooting. He was pronounced dead minutes later when emergency personnel arrived.

The mother of the man suspected in the shooting expressed disbelief that her son was involved, saying that he had a car. "Why would my son need someone's bike when he's in a car?" she asked.

She said her son had been in a corner convenience store at the time of the shooting, and that surveillance video from the store would prove that.

The video could serve as strong evidence, but it also seems likely that authorities will need to find two or all three of the alleged assailants to gather needed evidence.

Services on Wednesday

Patzner's funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Bridget's Church, 3811 Emerson Av. N., not far from his home.

He is survived by his mother, Mary Jane Scroggins; his father, Jody Patzner Sr., a brother, Christian, and two sisters, Brionna and Anna Marie.

Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329

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