By Esme Murphy

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) — Police are trying to find out who murdered a Brooklyn Center man in his home Sunday night.

Neighbors are telling police they heard muffled gunshots coming from the home on the 5400 block of Girard Avenue during the Grammy Awards. But no one called police until 24 hours later, when the man didn’t show up for work.

Authorities say the victim owned the home, and it’s where his body was found Monday night. Police said the man was shot and it was not a random incident, he was targeted.

Neighbors heard popping noises coming from the house Sunday night, but there were no calls to police apparently because most did not believe the noise was gunfire. Ross Archer, a long-time neighbor of the residence, was surprised by the incident.

“Absolutely shocked. In 15 years I’ve never had anyone try and break into my house,” said Archer.

Archer knew the victim and can’t believe he was gunned down in his own home. Police said undercover narcotics officers were on the scene investigating the murder

“He seemed like a really nice guy, not like the kind not the kind who would get mixed up in drugs or anything so we are pretty stunned,” Archer said.

The victim, a man in his 40s, had bought the house last year for $105,000. Other neighbors said he was quiet, helpful and a devoted dog owner.

Brooklyn Center Police said all possible motives are on the table, but the murder is not random. They refused to elaborate on a possible motive. Neighbors are stunned.

“My husband grew up in this house and in 45 years nothing like this has ever happened,” said Jennifer Yaars.

Now Archer isn’t taking any chances. He said after this incident, he is keeping his handgun ready if needed.

“I keep it right down here. For someone to come into someone’s home like that, you bet,” he said.

Police have not released the man’s name because all of his extended family have yet to be notified. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Brooklyn Center Police.

Comments (18)
  1. Jason says:

    Great thats 4 streets away. Sad how things change, I grew up in this neighborhood. I will protect my family at all costs. State reps. pass the castle doc. NOW! Let me protect myself, its my RIGHT!

    1. Jason says:

      @ my last comment, Thankful to get my ccw 3 weeks ago.

  2. Thundadome says:

    Crooklyn Dark is like Thunderdome except instead of futuristic, decrepid vehicles, it is Escalades and espensive cars with shiny rims.

  3. Obv. says:

    If only you had a clue, attend another Sunday service, you get your front row seat, because I have news for you pal when you’re dead, you’re dead we only call it like we see it. Why is this area called Brooklyn Center it’s North Minneapolis, ghetto thru and thru!

  4. mike says:

    I am so glad to know what he paid for the house. This is important because the killer might have been trying to steal it!

  5. Kevin says:


  6. Brett says:

    It’s a bad neighborhood, many people are in denial because they refuse to be realistic about the environment in which they live in. A homeowner shot and killed a burglar in that same area not too long ago.

  7. Jason says:

    I see this story was updated. After reading this I believe the reason the police were not called is because gunfire is not an uncommon occurrence in my area.

  8. Andre says:

    The victim in this case was a friend of mine. He was a hard worker, kind and had a great sense of humor. Put your friggin assumptions on hold and the racist remarks. I know for a fact that he minded his own business and the most important things in his life were his family and friends and his love of his dog. People in Mpls don’t even know what a ghetto is so STFU. This person worked hard to own his own home and this is a tragedy.

  9. RJ says:

    I also live in that neighborhood, I have for the last 11 yrs. and it is NOT ghetto, it is a diverse neighborhood with hard working people who care about their homes and neighborhood. I am so sick of you “suburbanites” spuing your racism and nasty comments about sometihing you know nothing about. You have never been in my neighborhood so make no comments about it. I am from Mtka and I still have family out there and I can tell you from experience the people in Mtka are snobby and rude. I am treated much better by strangers in my area that in the “burbs”

    1. Mike says:

      I have lived in the neighborhood for 9 years and deliver pizzas here on weekends. I have never heard a gun-shot, never felt threatened. It is for the most part a well kept, hard working area. Many of the negative, “ghetto” commenters are likely still living in Mom’s basement, in the burbs.

  10. Sheri says:

    Shame on you Esme Murphy, if you had done a better job of investigating you would realize the narcotic detectives in this area ALWAYS investigate murder. You assumed because you were not allowed to show an officer’s face that this murder involved drugs. You were wrong. This man did not do drugs. You have besmirched the character of a dead man and he has no way of regaining the honor you have destroyed with your thoughtless words and careless implications. Didn’t you notice none of the other local stations implied drugs? You crossed the line. Next time do a better job. Drama for the sake of drama is not ok. Wasn’t it enough that a man was killed in his own home? Did you really need to sensationalize this story further? You have additionally hurt his family and friends who are already grieving a great loss. Thank you.

    1. Barney says:

      I agree with you Sheri. The fact that a nice man was horribly killed was not enough for this reporter. She had to sensationalize it. That’s why I usually stick to Channel 11.

  11. Suzi N. says:

    Thank you Sheri and Andre for stating the facts. I knew Bret for years – both at work, and socially. He was a GREAT GUY. He wasn’t a loser, gang-banger, or hanging with the wrong crowd. He was a kind, compassionate, caring person who worked hard and was the first to help whenever the need arose. He loved life, had a great sense of humor, very respectful of others – and always welcome in my home.

    Yes, he lived in Brooklyn Center, and YES, it’s relatively close to North Minneapolis, but it’s not a ghetto. It’s a blue collar neighborhood. Violent crimes can happen anywhere – in the city, the burbs, even out in the rural areas.

    Please keep your negative assumptions to yourself and show some respect. He has a family and many close friends who are devastated by his senseless murder. May his killer(s) be caught swiftly and brought to justice.

    RIP Bret.

  12. Jennifer Vaars says:

    OMG! this is all so frickin childish,
    Someone was murdered, all of this is not entertainment!
    this is someone’s life, our neighborhood is NOT crime ridden,
    and none of us neighbors called the police because we were unsure of what we were hearing, if we had indeed known that it was gunfire, and that it was coming from Bret’s house we would have most definetly called the police,
    so if you don’t actually know the man or the situation then maybe it would be a wise suggestion to keep your dang mouth shut…

  13. Roger says:

    A 100,000 dollar house is what I call a Crack House! A couple eight balls a month could pay the mortgage.

    1. Lyndsey says:

      Really? My husband and our three small children just purchased our first home blocks away from here for 106k, I think you sir are the one on crack.

  14. Jon says:

    So sad. I used to stay at my grandparents’ house not too far away at 58th and Aldrich. Not once did I have to worry about my safety while roaming the neighborhood. What a tragedy.

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