According to criminal charges filed Monday in Hennepin County, the Minneapolis man who was killed while trying to help a 20-year-old who came to his door was shot to death with his own gun.
Devon Parker is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of 69-year-old Thomas Karl Sonnenberg, who was found dead in his home on Aldrich Avenue North shortly before midnight on Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police were called to Sonnenberg's home after he called 911 to report a man had come to his door seeking refuge from people who had been chasing him with a bat.
Charging documents state Sonnenberg allowed Parker into his home and locked the door behind him. Both were in the kitchen when Sonnenberg called 911 at about 11:46 p.m.
Investigators say Parker tried to confuse the dispatcher by grabbing the hp one and giving police the wrong address before grabbing the gun Sonnenberg wore on his hip.
Roughly 5 minutes later, a Minneapolis officer responding to the initial call knocked on the door but did not get an answer. After looking through a window, that officer saw Sonnenberg's body slumped over a chair in the kitchen.
As the officer began to kick the door in, a woman came to the door and said she could not unlock it. The officer reportedly then saw Parker come up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders.
With his service weapon drawn, the officer ordered Parker to the floor, and he complied as the women retrieved the keys and opened the door. Parker was then placed under arrest.
Police say Sonnenberg did not have a pulse and was bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound to the forehead. He was wearing a gun holster on his right hip, but the weapon was missing.
The Minneapolis Crime Lab found Sonnenberg's Smith and Wesson revolver under the bed in the upstairs bedroom. One round was spent from the chamber, charging documents say.
WIFE ASSAULTED AFTER SHOOTING
In interviews with police following the shooting, the woman who opened the door told police she was in the dining room when Sonnenberg let Parker inside after he knocked loudly on their back door.
She described Parker as frantic, paranoid and in apparent distress. She also said that after Sonnenberg -- her husband -- placed the 911 call, Parker had asked for a gun, a knife, a hat and gloves. Then, she heard a single gunshot.
The woman told police Parker then came out of the kitchen and ordered her to the floor before telling her police were coming and ordering her upstairs. Police noticed her shirt was torn and her neck appeared red, and she told officers that Parker choked her and held the gun her husband always wore at his hip to her head.
The criminal complaint accuses Parker of following her up the stairs and instructing her to lock them in the bedroom. After hearing noises downstairs, he then followed her to find police at the back door.
BAIL SET AT $2 MILLION
Parker remains in custody and is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday to face murder charges. Bail has been set at $2 million.
Prosecutors say Parker has prior convictions for assault, including an incident that involved shooting at a Metro Transit bus. In fact, he was supposed to be in court to be sentenced for another assault on the day Sonnenberg was shot.
"No words can describe the anger and disappointment," Rachel Baufield, Sonnenberg's daughter, told Fox 9 News.
Sonnenberg's daughters say they wanted their parents to move because they worried something like this would happen; however, they say the retired grandfather didn't want to move because his mortgage was underwater.
"This neighborhood is so bad. When we said, 'Your grandpa is dead,' my 8-year-old said, 'Somebody shot him, didn't they? Someone tried to rob Grandpa and shot him,'" Baufield told Fox 9 News.
Now, they are cleaning out the house where they spent most of their young lives to get their mother away.
"I just want my dad around," Raina Baldwin lamented. "My children will never know him and it's not fair. Why should they grow up without a grandpa?"
KDFW FOX 4
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