A 27-year-old man was charged Wednesday with fatally shooting a customer in the head and severely wounding another inside a discount store in Burnsville.
Grant D. Hendrickson of South St. Paul was charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and assault in connection with the midday gunfire Monday at the Dollar Tree store in the 14100 block of Aldrich Avenue S. Hendrickson made his first court appearance Wednesday and remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, with conditions. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
The man killed was identified as Donald J. Hortsch, 69, of Rosemount. The surviving victim “will be a paraplegic” after being shot first in his right leg and then the upper abdomen while on the floor, the charging document says. His identity has yet to be released.
Hortsch was a customer at the store and unknown to the shooter. The second customer was also a bystander.
According to witnesses cited in the criminal complaint:
Hendrickson’s girlfriend went to the store shortly after 10 a.m., and she and an employee argued about her lodging complaints that led to his family being evicted from an apartment. During that dispute, she learned Hendrickson was a sex offender.
Later that morning, she spoke with Hendrickson while he was at class at St. Paul College and told him what she learned about him while at the store.
About noon, a woman in the store heard a scuffle in the back, saw a man leave and then saw him quickly return firing a gun. She saw the gunman go to the back of the store and open fire again.
The employee who argued with Hendrickson’s girlfriend told investigators that a “jittery” Hendrickson threatened him when he first came in the store, saying, “You don’t know me, and I will kill you,” the complaint read. The employee responded with three punches to Hendrickson’s face. Others forcibly led him out of the store, but he returned and started shooting.
The woman in the store saw Hendrickson drive away and then throw the gun from his car into an area with a large trash bin. She identified Hendrickson and the vehicle for authorities, and the handgun was quickly located.
Questioned by police, Hendrickson asserted that he acted in self-defense.
According to court records, the suspect was convicted in 2008 of first-degree assault with a knife. Two years later, he was convicted of sexual assault of a minor. He also was convicted of violating a domestic abuse restraining order.