A sister has identified the woman who was shot and killed in Mendota Heights over the weekend by a suspected armed robber who remains on the run.
Beverly Cory, 48, “senselessly lost her life” Saturday when she was shot inside an office building on a commercial plaza near Hwy. 110 and Interstate 35E, according to Linda K. Johnson.
“Our hearts are devastated, broken, and beyond words,” Johnson wrote late Saturday on Facebook. “The woman that senselessly lost her life earlier today in the Mendota Heights shooting was my sister Beverly Cory. She is beyond missed already. Fly high Bev. Give dad a big hug for me.”
Cory, of Maplewood, was a financial adviser for Edward Jones, which has offices in the building where the shooting occurred. Her LinkedIn page says she attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.
Cory lived in a well-kept subdivision of twin homes in Maplewood, where neighbors tended their lawns and flower gardens on Sunday. The association pool overlooks a lake.
Neighbors were shocked to hear of her violent death. Susan Greenlee and her husband, Doug, saw police cars at Cory’s home Saturday afternoon but didn’t know what was going on.
Cory and her partner, Kim, had lived there at least 10 years. Neighbor Jennifer Miller’s dog, Kona, would head to Cory’s house when the garage door was open to get some loving.
“Bev was the nicest woman, the kindest soul,” Miller said. “She was sobbing when she had to put her cat down. That’s how we bonded.”
Doug Greenlee said “she was a friendly, sweet gal, a really nice lady.”
Other neighbors said Cory worked long hours as a financial adviser. She and her partner loved to travel, and she was involved in local politics.
Authorities remain on the hunt for the suspect, identified by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as Lucifer V. Nguyen, 44. Nguyen is described as East Asian, about 5 foot 5 and 150 pounds. The BCA said his last known address was in Minneapolis, but recent court records out of Wisconsin list a New Hope address.
His criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for misdemeanor theft, careless driving and drunken driving.
He is scheduled to appear in a Superior, Wis., courtroom on Aug. 18 in connection with felony battery and illicit drug allegations.
Police consider him armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his location is urged to call the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at 651-322-2323.
The violent sequence began with a man being robbed at gunpoint Saturday morning on Delaware Avenue, not far from where the shooting occurred. Police soon began pursuing the robber, who sped away in a car and crashed it into a swamp in nearby Friendly Marsh Park. From there, he ran into the White Pine Senior Living center with his gun drawn.
Authorities from several agencies blocked off the plaza and care facility with squad cars and armored trucks, and helicopters scanned from overhead.
Early Saturday afternoon, law enforcement got word of Cory’s death inside the office building across from the White Pine care center.
LendSmart Mortgage branch manager Paul Melby said he heard some commotion shortly after 9 a.m. Melby said he came out of his office to see police with guns drawn. They said the building was on lockdown. It was hours later when he found out about the woman’s death on the other side of the building.
“I thought I was the only one in the building,” he said. “If [the shooter] would’ve come in my door, I would be dead.”