For a few harrowing minutes before dawn Thursday, a Blaine man fought to fend off a knife-wielding stranger in his kitchen as his girlfriend called police from behind a locked bedroom door.
“I was doing anything I could to keep his mind off stabbing me,” said the resident, a man in his 50s who did not want his name published but whose account matched one provided later by police.
The intruder said nothing, but was foaming at the mouth as he pursued the male resident around the kitchen, the man said.
The drama only intensified when police officers arrived.
Police shot and wounded the intruder when he lunged at them and the male resident, wielding one or more knives, according to authorities and the resident.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and was expected to survive the shooting, which occurred at a house on 92nd Avenue between 5th and 7th streets NE, Blaine police said.
Just before the break-in, a woman was attacked outside the house by the suspect as she sat in her car, witnesses said. Police confirmed that the intruder was involved in that assault but offered no details.
The two officers who shot the intruder were from neighboring Coon Rapids, responding because all Blaine officers on duty were on other calls, Blaine police said.
The male resident who lives in the targeted home said he awoke about 3:45 a.m. Thursday to let his dog out and heard “a car frantically honking.”
He put on his snowmobile suit, and as he was about to step outside, he saw a big man “staring at me. He said he needed to call the police.”
The resident said he quickly felt leery, adding that he thought, “ ‘Maybe I shouldn’t take my suit off.’ Something didn’t feel right.”
Suddenly, the suspect kicked in the front door and jumped on the resident’s back, the resident said, adding that the intruder was bleeding.
The two were soon in the kitchen, where drawers were opened and both men gripped knives.
“And we squared off,” the resident continued. “I started talking,” while the intruder said nothing but was “foaming at the mouth,” he said.
The resident said the woman in the home with him called 911 during the knife-brandishing standoff. Police described the woman as the resident’s girlfriend and said she was calling from behind a locked bedroom door.
The Coon Rapids officers arrived, and the resident went and opened the front door, he said. The officers immediately ordered the suspect to drop the knives.
It was at that moment, the resident said, that the intruder “lunged at all of us” while still armed with one or more knives.
Both officers, one with a stun gun and the other with a revolver, fired at the suspect, the resident said.
The intruder “went down immediately, gurgling and mumbling,” the resident said.
An ambulance was called and a gurney was quickly rolled up.
The resident said he was unsure whether the suspect was dead at that point, but that during the fight, the suspect appeared to have “the mind-set he was going to kill or be killed.”
Paper carrier’s car attacked
By midmorning Thursday, several neighbors had left for work as others peeked through their blinds to see what was going on.
The honking car’s driver was a woman in her 40s who was delivering the Star Tribune, said Jean Isakson, who lives on the block and spoke with the driver afterward.
The suspect “tried to pull her out of the car and busted her car all up,” said Isakson, who described herself as a friend of the woman.
“The ambulance people had to take her out the passenger side” because the driver’s-side door and window were severely damaged, Isakson added.
Isakson said her friend was taken to a hospital with a badly injured shoulder but later was able to come home and “seemed to be doing OK.” Investigators later towed the damaged car away.
The shooting was the third involving police officers in the Twin Cities area since the middle of last week.
On Jan. 15, police in Bloomington confronted a suicidal man near a residential intersection, in an incident that left the 24-year-old shot several times. Authorities have yet to say who fired the fatal shots.
In St. Paul on Jan. 14, another 24-year-old man had a loaded handgun within his reach as he hit the gas of his sport-utility vehicle and sped toward a St. Paul police officer in the 200 block of University Avenue E., police said. Officers opened fire and killed the man.