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A standoff with police involving numerous hostages at a Red Roof Inn near Interstate 494 and Valley Creek Road left one man shot to death by police and another under arrest, authorities said. The BCA was on the scene investigating.

Richard Sennott, Dml - Star Tribune

Transcripts in Woodbury hotel standoff full of despondent threats

  • Article by: JOY POWELL
  • Star Tribune
  • September 13, 2012 - 11:18 PM

Demetrius S. Ballinger talked about ammunition, and wanting to be called Lucifer, as he held hostages for four hours at the Woodbury Red Roof Inn recently.

His transcribed comments, including with hostage negotiators, provide a peek into a troubled mind just as its going off.

Ballinger, 25, is charged with 27 felonies, including attempted murder, in the Aug. 31 standoff that left one of his nine hostages dead of gunshot wounds from police. Ballinger fired at the hostage as he fled a motel room, and autopsy results are soon to reveal whether he shot Henderson, too.

Ballinger remained Thursday in the Washington County Jail, held in lieu of $1 million bail.

There easily could have been many more deaths, a prosecutor said, had it not been for the quick-thinking hostage negotiators who brought the ordeal to an end. He credited, as well, a brave young woman who dialed 911 before she threw her cell phone into a pile with others.

Still, before the ordeal was over, one man would be dead and four young women raped.

In the transcripts, Ballinger refers to a previous relationship that failed, with the mother of his child, and says repeatedly that he has no family. He talks about having nine hostages, who say they are 16, and says he wants to go out in a body bag.

"The police are out there but nobody's coming in," he is quoted as saying at one point.

He talks about having 18 bullets, too.

Killed during the four-hour standoff was Mark Eric Henderson, 19, of St. Paul. He was shot repeatedly by police after exiting the motel room, moments after Ballinger shot twice.

Authorities said they believe Ballinger may have hit Henderson once or twice before he came out of the door, and then was shot by police after they believed that he was noncompliant, and that he might have been armed, officials have said.

A preliminary autopsy has been completed, though toxicology tests are pending. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office said findings were not public.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the officer involved shooting, has not said how many times Henderson was shot, nor if ballistic tests have been completed.

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038

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