A man and woman suspected in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old man outside a north Minneapolis strip mall last week were said to have planned to rob the victim because he previously had "shorted" them during a drug transaction, according to newly filed criminal charges.
Charged on Monday with second-degree murder were 25-year-old Quintel Flowers and Nicole Rantala, 32, in connection with the shooting of Larry Flowers (no relation). Rantala and Quintel Flowers, who are in a relationship and have a child together, each remained in jail on Monday in lieu of $1 million bail. Both are slated to make initial court appearances Tuesday afternoon.
The Nov. 17 slaying near N. Bryant and W. Broadway avenues, at the Hawthorn Crossings strip mall, apparently started as a robbery planned by Quintel Flowers, who was upset that the victim had shorted him the week before, the complaint read. He later admitted that he was a regular marijuana customer of Larry Flowers — and bought some drugs from him on the day of the shooting — but denied shooting him, the complaint read.
The shooting occurred about 11 a.m. Thursday near the busy strip mall, as dozens of residents were going about daily routines.
According to the complaint, Quintel Flowers, who was armed with a .380 semiautomatic handgun, and Rantala picked up the victim and drove behind the McDonald's restaurant in the strip mall, where Quintel Flowers drew the weapon and yelled for the other man to hand over his drugs and money. A struggle ensued as Larry Flowers tried to wrestle the gun free before bailing of the car and running away.
Police said that Quintel Flowers also got out of the car, then shot Larry Flowers several times in the back as he fled. Police said he later dumped the gun in a nearby river.
The couple were arrested in Columbia Heights later that night by members of the department's homicide unit and the violent criminal apprehension team, according to police.
An autopsy showed that Larry Flowers was shot five times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.