Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Grant David Hendrickson, age 27 of South St. Paul, has been charged* with one count each of Murder in the Second Degree (With Intent/Not Premeditated), Attempted Murder in the Frist Degree (Premeditated), Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (With Intent/Not Premeditated), Assault in the First Degree, and Possession of Firearm by Ineligible Person (Prior Crime of Violence), all felonies, in connection with the fatal shooting of Donald Joseph Hortsch, age 69 of Rosemount, and the attempted shooting death of a 26-year-old male on November 7, 2016, at the Dollar Tree store in Burnsville. Updated page layout to new BT layout.
The criminal complaint alleges that shortly after 12:00 p.m. on November 7th, Burnsville police officers responded to a call at the Dollar Tree store. There officers discovered two victims of gunshot wounds inside the store. Donald Hortsch died as a result of a gunshot wound to his head. The 26-year-old male sustained two gunshot wounds, one to his right leg and one to his upper abdomen. He remains hospitalized but is expected to live.
While responding, officers were advised that the shooter had left the store driving a tan or beige automobile along with a description of the suspect. An officer stopped a vehicle matching the description and apprehended Hendrickson without incident.
Officers interviewed several witnesses including the girlfriend of Hendrickson. She told investigators that she went to the Dollar Tree store after 10:00 a.m. At the Dollar Tree store, she and a male employee had a verbal altercation about his family being evicted from an apartment due to her complaining. During this argument she learned that Hendrickson was a sex offender, which she had no knowledge of. After leaving the store around 11:00 a.m., she received a call from Hendrickson while he was at class at St. Paul College. She told him about the confrontation she had at the Dollar Tree store and that she had learned he was a sex offender.
Another witness stated that as she was preparing to checkout, she heard a scuffle towards that back of the store. She saw a male exit the store and then reenter a short time later, firing a gun. She saw the male walk to the back of the store and heard at least one more shot as she exited the store. While in her vehicle she saw the male exit the store, enter a 4-door, tan colored sedan, and drive away. She followed the vehicle and observed the male throw what she believed to be a gun out of his vehicle in a nearby dumpster area. She later identified Hendrickson and the vehicle. Officers located a 9mm handgun in the dumpster area that was described.
After the shooting, Hendrickson’s girlfriend received a phone call from him during which Hendrickson admitted he had just shot two people. She could hear the sirens in the background. Hendrickson told her that five people jumped him and that he had no choice but to shoot.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaints which are located online at: Criminal Complaint Search. If in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: "Our sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Donald Hortsch, who died in this senseless and tragic incident and to the other victim in this case who has suffered serious and disabling injuries."
Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department for their quick response and thorough investigation of this case. Backstrom also thanked the additional law enforcement agencies that assisted in this investigation: Apple Valley Police Department, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, the Electronic Crimes Unit of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Eagan Police Department, Farmington Police Department, Lakeville Police Department, South Saint Paul Police Department, West Saint Paul Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol.
Hendrickson made his first court appearance on these charges today, and bail was set in the amount of $1.5 million without conditions ($1 million with conditions) by Judge Karen Asphaug. His next court appearance was set for November 22, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.