Staff Directory 6370413

Abby Simons

Team Leader | Public Safety
Phone: 651-925-5043

Abby Simons is the Star Tribune’s Public Safety Editor. Her team covers crime and courts across the metro. She joined the Star Tribune in 2008 and previously reported on crime, courts and politics.


Simons is a 2004 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, where she studied journalism. Before joining the Star Tribune, she was a reporter for the Des Moines Register. Simons lives in Minneapolis.
Recent content from Abby Simons
Jamal Mitchell, with daughter Macen, who is now 4 years old.

Jamal Mitchell: Officer, father, fiancé and people person whose happiness radiated

Allison Seed said she cannot recall the fallen Minneapolis police officer "without a smile on his face. He was always looking for a way to have a conversation."
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office released body-worn camera video from when deputies got in a firefight with a Minnetonka resident on April 10.

Body camera video shows Minnetonka man repeatedly shooting at deputies before dying in firefight

"Suspect is down in the yard, he was firing at us again, we are giving him commands at this time," one deputy said.

Marvin Haynes was exonerated. What's next?

Black-and-white portrait of Robert Skafte.

Gruesome crime at Loring Park grocery shocks and saddens a neighborhood

Robert Skafte was a friendly face at the Oak Grove Grocery for decades and performed across the Twin Cities. A suspect is jailed for allegedly impaling Skafte with a golf club.
Naema Ali and her cousins posed for a selfie after a family picnic at Boom Island Park on Aug. 20 in Minneapolis.

Behind the story: One night in Minneapolis

A Q&A with Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix

Man dead, woman questioned after shooting at Minneapolis townhome

An argument preceded the shooting, police said.
BCA releases file in Amir Locke death, including more video

BCA releases file in Amir Locke death, including more video

Newly released body camera videos by state investigators show additional angles of the chaotic seconds before 22-year-old Amir Locke was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during a predawn raid two months ago.
Police were on the scene of a shooting Monday outside a St. Paul funeral home

Man shot and killed outside St. Paul funeral is identified

Police say the shooting involved a gang dispute.
The Minnesota state prison at Stillwater remained on lockdown Monday, Feb. 21, after an inmate assaulted and injured two corrections officers during a

Stillwater prison remains on lockdown following weekend attack on two correctional officers

Both were treated for their injuries and released.
Families of Black men killed by police in Minnesota demand justice for Amir Locke

Families of Black men killed by police in Minnesota demand justice for Amir Locke

Students march in solidarity, group lays out plans for change
Video: Locke, under blanket, holds gun as officers enter, fire

Video: Locke, under blanket, holds gun as officers enter, fire

The 55-second video shows officers at the downtown Minneapolis apartment unit to serve a search warrant in connection with a St. Paul homicide investigation. Amir Locke was not the subject of the warrant.
Man shot, killed by Mpls. police was armed with handgun, interim chief says

Man shot, killed by Mpls. police was armed with handgun, interim chief says

The shooting reportedly happened just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning near a downtown Minneapolis apartment building across from Orchestra Hall.
Activist Mel Reeves delivered a prepared statement to the media in 2017 in response to the shooting of 25-year-old Chard Robertson, of Minneapolis, by

Longtime civil rights activist Mel Reeves dies of complications from COVID

Reeves, 64, was at the forefront of community activism.
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Demands against judge in Potter trial lead to protest at condo unit

The man acknowledged going inside the building, but not to intimidate.
Libor Jany, Star Tribune staff. Bio photo. Staff directory mugshots taken Sept 11, 2014 mugs Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune stribmugs091114

Star Tribune reporter Libor Jany named Journalist of the Year by NABJ

Jany is the latest honoree, joining a list of journalistic luminaries.
A man has died four days after he was shot during a dispute on East Lake Street in south Minneapolis, police said.

Victim dies four days after shooting during south Minneapolis dispute

Man shot and killed on St. Paul's East Side is identified

Officers responding to a report of a man shot at 6:40 p.m. discovered Kiefer M. Morgan, 30, inside a home.

Authorities ID men who drowned in separate weekend accidents in Fridley, Bloomington

Both deaths were ruled accidents, but the Anoka and Hennepin County sheriff's offices are investigating.
At Shiloh Temple International Ministries in Minneapolis, MN on June 1, 2021, mourners paid their respects to Aniya Allen during the wake for non-fami

Visitation, services scheduled for Mpls. girl, 6, struck by gunfire while riding in car

Aniya Allen was among three children killed or injured by gunfire in a two-week span.
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Looking back at key testimony from the Derek Chauvin trial

In this image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin address Hennepin County J

A day-by-day recap of the Derek Chauvin murder trial

After nearly three weeks of testimony, the defense rested its case Thursday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Here's a look back at each day's testimony.
Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and taken into custody after being found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd.

What happened each day in the Derek Chauvin trial

Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the killing of George Floyd.
Witnesses who testified so far in the Derek Chauvin trial include, clockwise from top left: Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo; HCMC Dr. Bradf

Who were the witnesses in the Derek Chauvin trial?

These are the individuals who testified in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.
In this screen grab from video, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Der

Who's who in the courtroom during the Derek Chauvin trial

Here's a look at the major players in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer for the killing of George Floyd.
573500477

BCA identifies Minneapolis police officers involved in shootout

The suspect was wounded in an exchange of gunfire, authorities say.
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Citing 'serious threat to public health,' prosecutors ask judge to reconsider holding two trials in George Floyd's death

Prosecutors asked that all four ex-Minneapolis officers be tried in late summer.
FILE - In this July 30, 2018 file photo, Minneapolis Police Union President Lt. Bob Kroll speaks during a news conference in Minneapolis. Talk of chan

Minneapolis police union chief Kroll says he will retire early

He initially planned to retire in May, but "After reviewing the bigger picture, it is in my family's best interest for me to retire four months early."
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Prosecutors in Floyd case deny defense claims that they delayed sharing evidence

The motion is an attempt by defense attorneys to buy more time, prosecutors allege.
Families of those killed by police marched with hundreds of supporters in "The Secret March" down University Avenue to the Capitol in St. Paul.

In St. Paul and Minneapolis, hundreds join in second night of protests

No arrests were reported after the marches wrapped up Thursday, one night after 51 people were taken into custody, mostly in south Minneapolis.
Protesters blocked Lake and Chicago in Minneapolis.

51 arrested near Fifth Precinct HQ after protesting Chauvin release

Protesters and law enforcement faced off late Wednesday in south Minneapolis after an earlier march to protest the release from prison of Derek Chauvin.
Lacy Johnson, Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, speaks in Minneapolis in 2018.

Teen fatally shot in north Minneapolis worked for GOP congressional candidate

Officials at Patrick Henry High school ID'd the teen in a Facebook post and said that grief counselors would be available to students.

Authorities identify victims of recent Minneapolis homicides

Police have not disclosed a possible motive or arrests in any of the shootings.
Minneapolis police responded to the first shooting Wednesday, at Ramp A, 101 N. 9th St.

Both men who died violently in downtown Minneapolis turned to Salvation Army

Police say the men and a woman were in a dispute in a parking garage down the block from Hope Harbor housing when the shooting happened.
A few people were detained outside the Target in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday night after the curfew went into effect.

Unrest in downtown Minneapolis: How it unfolded

The suicide of a man suspected in a murder hours earlier Wednesday sparked rioting and looting across Nicollet Mall.
A few people were detained outside the Target in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday night after the curfew went into effect.

Minneapolis mayor requests Guard during night of rioting, looting

Minneapolis was under an overnight curfew after crowds smashed downtown windows and looted stores Wednesday night. The crowds came after a report of a man's death on Nicollet Mall. Police responded by saying he was a homicide suspect who shot himself, releasing video from city cameras.
FILE - This combination of file photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin,

Judge orders release of police body cam video from night George Floyd died

News outlets and the public can now obtain copies of the video after a challenge by media.
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, walks out of the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility on Monday afternoon June 20, 2020, in Mi

Fired officer Lane's attorney seeks dismissal of charges in Floyd's death

Transcripts of body-worn camera footage from the night George Floyd was killed and of an interview with one of the officers at the scene were also filed in court.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, standing a distance from police Chief Medaria Arradondo, watched as the chief outlined how the city will enforce the new

What you need to know about Minneapolis chief's plans to reform police department

On Wednesday, Chief Medaria Arradondo revealed the first two steps he plans to take.
Homicide claimed 31 people in St. Paul in 2019, the highest number since the record of 34 slayings set in the mid-1990s.

The names and faces of St. Paul's deadly year

Homicide claimed 31 people in St. Paul in 2019, the highest number since the record of 34 slayings set in the mid-1990s. The majority of the victims were young men of color who lost their lives to gun violence.
Eugene "Geno" Smith

St. Paul police officer cleared in fatal shooting during drug raid

Evidence shows Eugene "Geno" Smith fired a shotgun at the task force officer.
Chaska Fire Department photo: Heat and flames quickly consumed this large house in Chaska in May and singed nearby homes. The Chaska department suppor

Minnesota builders win a court battle against home sprinkler mandate

Year-old rule mandated installation in houses larger than 4,500 square feet.
Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame, 20, of Eagan, was arrested on Wednesday.

Lawyer says ISIL defendant had no ability to build anti-aircraft rockets

Abdirizak Warsame never had the ability to build anti-aircraft rockets, his attorney says.
Supreme Court Justice Christopher Dietzen led the discussion of changes to drug sentencing guidelines at the commission meeting Wednesday afternoon. ]

Minn. Sentencing Guidelines Commission signs off on drug sentencing reform

Proponents say changes create statewide standard and promote treatment.
Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Dietzen looked through papers while listening to testimonies during Wednesday's public hearing on drug sentencing

Plan to redo drug sentencing draws an emotional response

Sentencing Guidelines Commission hears from both sides on proposal to reduce prison time for low-level offenders.

Mpls. man accused of Twitter threats to FBI agents remains jailed

Abdulkadir's attorney argues that no one was specifically threatened.
Saado Ali Warsame

Son of slain Somali political activist sues money-transfer business

Case alleges that big money-transfer firm helped fund the killers.
Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman pointed out that Minnesota has the lowest individual rates in the country. The Commerce Department announced that r

Minnesota commerce commissioner: Bitcoin buyers, beware

Hassan, Mohamed Abdullahi

Ex-Minneapolis student 'Mujahid Miski' denies ties to Islamic State

Former Roosevelt student Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, arrested in Somalia last month, vows he won't return to the U.S.
Hy Berman

Hy Berman, longtime U professor, political commentator, dies at 90

Teaching history at the U or speaking on issues of the day, Hy Berman was "always engaged."
On a recent Missouri deer hunt, Star Tribune reporter Abby Simons, center, and the doe she shot are flanked by Simons' friend Phil Replogle, left, and

A doe is taken but 'my big buck is still out there'

A novice's second deer hunting season brings on big expectations and a drive for more.
BlacksGiving event on Thanksgiving outside the Minneapolis Police Department�s 4th precinct Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Minneapolis. Here, a table i

Mankato officer led Mpls. police to protest shooting suspect

The new information, detailed in a search warrant application, came as officials got an extension until Monday to file charges in the case.

Mankato officer led Mpls. police to protest shooting suspect

The new information, detailed in a search warrant application, came as officials got an extension until Monday to file charges in the case.
Julio Suarez, right, is shown in a screen grab from a video filmed days before five people were shot near the Jamar Clark protest site in north Minnea

Social media offering picture of men who went to protest 'locked and loaded'

Days after a YouTube video went public, four men were arrested in connection with Monday night's shooting of five protesters.
Governor: Ambulance video of shooting is inconclusive

Governor: Ambulance video of shooting is inconclusive

Minneapolis NAACP chief says remarks reinforce need for public to see footage from shooting.

Gov. Dayton: Ambulance video from Jamar Clark shooting inconclusive

Gov. Dayton viewed the footage Friday, and discussed its contents with Clark's family. He said it briefly shows Clark and an officer encountering each other, but not the shooting.
Gov. Mark Dayton kicked off Thanksgiving week with an appearance with "Aaron," the 40 lb. turkey (named after Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers). Af

Dayton lauds turkey industry's comeback from flu outbreak

One bird may have been the star Monday, but Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota turkey producers held the flapping 40-pounder out as a tribute to an important agriculture sector in the midst of a rebound.
Roger Lee Olsen served two years in Stillwater prison for a rape he didn’t commit.

For those wrongly convicted, Minnesota to make good

State is the 30th to pass a law compensating freed inmates for time served, plus damages.
Marshall Helmberger, editor and publisher of the Timberjay Newspaper serving Ely, Tower and Orr.

Timberjay bill fails to define 'government function,' creates gray area

DFL Activist Peggy Flanagan sails to election in House District 46A

DFL Activist Peggy Flanagan sails to election in House District 46A

Flanagan ran unopposed for the seat.
Somali community leaders Imam Hassan Jamaica Mohamud and Sadik Warfa spoke to the media about the case 9/02/2015

Trial for alleged ISIL recruits pushed to May

Lawyers given more time in wake of new charges.
Opponents of home care workers union take challenge to federal appeals court

Opponents of home care workers union take challenge to federal appeals court

In dual challenges, they say the 'forced association' is unconstitutional.
Ventura says he was 'booster rocket' propelling sales of 'American Sniper'

Ventura says he was 'booster rocket' propelling sales of 'American Sniper'

Ventura says he is prepared to fight the case again if retrial is ordered.

Chairman of MNsure oversight committee looks into spending of federal funds

Rep. Greg Davids want to know if MnSure has the approval to spend federal funds to cover shortfalls

Dayton orders February special election to replace outgoing state Sen. Branden Petersen

Petersen resigned from the Senate last month.
Jason Lewis warmed up the crowd at Michele Bachmann's "Welcome Home" event at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa on June 26, 2011.

'Mr. Right' Jason Lewis hopes to take his libertarian streak to Washington

Former radio show host Jason Lewis said a slow recession recovery motivated him to run for Second Congressional District seat.
Firearms instructor Rob Doar demonstrated the proper technique for holding a handgun.

Permit-to-carry class offers real-life firearms education

Ashlee Hutchinson, 23, shot a handgun at a Robbinsdale range. Another mass shooting reignited debate on gun laws.

Tragedy in Oregon spurs fresh gun law debate in Minnesota

In the wake of the latest mass shooting, gun rights supporters remained steadfast that 2nd Amendment should be inviolate, while gun control supporters say they are more motivated than ever.
DFL Rep. Atkins decides not to run for Congress, defends MNsure

DFL Rep. Atkins decides not to run for Congress, defends MNsure

The DFLer said he was encouraged to run.
Homeland Security discusses REAL ID concerns with lawmakers

Homeland Security discusses REAL ID concerns with lawmakers

They say there is no federal database or tracking chip, contrary to rumors.

House Republicans urge attorney general to push back on federal environmental mandates

A contingent of lawmakers say the mandates could come at the cost of jobs and affordable energy.
Sample Minnesota driver's license.

Lawmakers to discuss REAL ID with Homeland Security in closed meeting

Minnesota is among four outliers who have resisted adopting the federal identification standards.
Columbia Heights police officer Terry Nightingale made sure to turn on his body cam before talking a pedestrian for dangerously crossing the street, F

State agency rejects request by cops to classify body cam footage as private

It's a complex issue that should be addressed by state law, commissioner said.
In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 photo, travelers wait in long security lines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in Seattle.

REAL ID worries for Minnesota driver's licenses about to get real

Come January, Minnesota driver's license might not suffice at the airport.
DFL Sen. Metzen treated for recurrence of lung cancer

DFL Sen. Metzen treated for recurrence of lung cancer

Metzen serves as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Stockpiled coal at Sherco. Excel Energy had an open house at the Sherburne County Generating Plant (Sherco) in Becker, Minnesota, Tuesday, October 2,

EPA mandates likely mean changes at Sherco coal plant

Republicans say jobs will be lost; DFLers say it's part of the state's clean-energy revolution.