A Columbia Heights man with a lengthy rap sheet was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, accused of intentionally shooting another man dead Friday night in a Metro Transit park-and-ride in Minnetonka.
Marcus Hallmark, 25, was arrested a few hours after 32-year-old Thomas John Russ of Minneapolis was shot in the head around 11:15 p.m. Friday, allegedly as he and Hallmark were fixing a flat tire in a parking ramp off Interstate 394 at the Hopkins Crossroads interchange. He was being held in the Hennepin County jail ahead of his first court appearance on Wednesday, said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in announcing the charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Russ was the boyfriend of Hallmark’s sister. He and Hallmark and two women had been hanging out in a home in Columbia Heights. One of the women had lent her car to Hallmark, and at some point Hallmark abandoned it at the park-and-ride ramp because it had a flat tire.
On Friday night, the four drove to the ramp. The two women sat in the car while Hallmark and Russ fixed the flat tire. Both women reported hearing a loud bang, then looked over and saw Russ on the ground. They then saw Hallmark bend over and fire another shot before running away into the woods, the complaint states.
The Hennepin County medical examiner said Russ died of two gunshot wounds to the head.
Hallmark has been convicted four times since 2009 for committing or aiding and abetting burglary. He also was found guilty of property damage, being a public nuisance, drug possession, theft and aiding and abetting assault.
He was shot in the abdomen in August 2011 inside a motel room in Spring Lake Park. A man accused of directing the shooting by an accomplice was convicted. Hallmark also was arrested in August 2010 in connection with a stabbing in Albert Lea, court records show.