Woman, man dead after shooting at Maple Grove McDonald's

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2009 - 6:00 AM

A woman was killed outside a McDonald's in Maple Grove by her boyfriend, who later killed himself, police said.

In a bloody end to a domestic dispute, a young woman's on-again, off-again boyfriend shot her to death Sunday afternoon outside a Maple Grove McDonald's restaurant, then committed suicide on a nearby freeway, police said.

At least a dozen people, including children, were eating inside the popular restaurant when the man accosted the woman as she walked toward the entrance, shooting her at least twice with a shotgun.

Just before 2 p.m., Maple Grove police received several frantic 911 calls about a woman being shot in the parking lot of the McDonald's on Sycamore Lane N. Witnesses saw her stumble at the curb and fall onto a sidewalk by the restaurant as she was shot the first time, said Maple Grove police Capt. Tracy Stille. The male suspect then approached the woman and shot her again at "very close range," Stille said.

The man then fled in a white vehicle. "Witnesses in the restaurant were yelling, 'Grab the license plate! Grab the license plate!' " he said.

It was Maple Grove's first homicide in eight years, police said.

The man and woman had arrived separately at the restaurant to break off a year-old relationship, Stille said. The identities of the two, whom police described as metro-area residents in their 20s, had not been released by late Sunday.

A McDonald's employee and two police officers performed CPR on the woman, but she died at the scene.

Armed with a vehicle description and a partial license plate number, a Brooklyn Park police officer was waiting for the suspect, who was driving 20 to 30 miles over the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, on Interstate 694, Stille said.

About six minutes after the initial 911 calls, the officer pulled the suspect over on 694 at the border of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. He approached the parked vehicle and found the man dead inside from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Stille said.

The officer did not see or hear the shooting, but the car's roof bore a hole from a fired weapon, Stille said. A shotgun was found inside.

The eastbound lanes of 694 were shut down for a time during the incident, but traffic slowly returned to normal.

Authorities searched both shooting scenes into the early evening. At least two cars sustained damage from shots in the McDonald's parking lot, where the female victim lay covered for several hours after the shooting. It's unclear how many shots were fired, but one car had a shattered window and a flat tire.

A group of teenagers sitting in a booth just 5 feet away on the other side of large windows witnessed the commotion, but it's unclear if they saw the actual shooting, Stille said.

The victim's 9-year-old daughter and several other family members arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting and were being interviewed by police. Grieving family members and friends declined to comment.

Officials said they did not expect to release the identities of the man or woman Sunday.

Chao Xiong • 612-673-4931

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