A drug deal and holdup gone bad has four people facing charges ranging from robbery to murder after a man was slain inside his Prior Lake home and the suspects led officers on a chase that ended with one of them opening fire at police before they shot him.
The crime spree that unfolded on Nov. 23 began when the four masked bandits — three men and a woman — burst into a residence on the 2100 block of NW. Sioux Trail near Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake just after 2 a.m. looking to buy marijuana, according to a criminal complaint filed in Scott County District Court.
Charges say the suspects asked for James Herron by name, went into his bedroom and shot him in the arm and leg, according to witnesses. They marched Herron into the living room and demanded money. When he didn’t respond, one of the suspects shot the 42-year-old man in the head and the three fled the scene in a vehicle. The fourth was arrested at the scene, the complaint said.
Herron was taken to St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, where he died, authorities said.
Police from several agencies joined the chase that ended when three suspects abandoned the car on a Hwy. 169 ramp in Edina and attempted to jump a fence as they ran away. Two of the suspects, identified as Tyrel Lamar Patterson, 27, and Brandy Lee Jaques, 39, were arrested by a K-9 officer while a third, Derrick Zechariah Smith, 28, made it to a nearby strip mall before being confronted by an Eden Prairie officer. Smith threatened to shoot the officer, then fired, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.
The officer returned fire, injuring Smith.
The Scott County complaint said police found several bags of marijuana, a box of condoms and an electronic tablet in Smith’s pants. They also found two handguns on him, including a .22-caliber pistol. A cartridge case found near Herron’s body also came from a .22-caliber pistol, the complaint said.
Patterson had a large amount of money in his pockets. The fourth suspect, Jonte Glenn Robinson, 26, was arrested at the house and taken to the Prior Lake Police Department.
Smith made a court appearance Tuesday in Hennepin County to face additional charges of first-degree assault/use of deadly force against a police officer.
“We are just one of three jurisdictions that want Mr. Smith to face justice,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in announcing the charges. “He is a violent man who we already charged last week with a shooting, and now he faces charges for shooting at a police officer.”
In addition to being a key suspect in Herron’s killing, Smith was also charged with assault in connection with an Oct. 28 shooting on 47th and Bryant avenues N. in Minneapolis. Police in Milwaukee say they also want to question Smith in connection with a homicide in that city.
Robinson told authorities that he met up with his friend Patterson, along with another man and woman whom he did not know, and had planned to go to Mystic Lake Casino. After driving from northeast Minneapolis and arriving in Prior Lake, the vehicle driven by Jaques stopped at a residence and Robinson said one of the other men in the car said “they were going to a house to buy marijuana, if everything didn’t go right, he was going to shoot someone.” All four suspects put on masks and entered the residence.
Smith declined to provide a statement to investigators, but as officers left, they heard him say, “I haven’t got the heart to kill anybody” and “A man lost his life over some [expletive] weed.”