COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — Police say a woman was found shot to death inside a Cottage Grove Jimmy John’s Thursday after being chased by a gunman in a strip mall.
“It looked like she was running for her life,” one witness said.
At 3:35 p.m., Cottage Grove Police were dispatched to the 7700 block of East Point Douglas Road on multiple reports of shots fired. There, police discovered the female victim dead and a man who appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Reports were that a male was chasing a female with a gun,” said Cottage Grove Police Chief Craig Woolley.
Witnesses said they heard screaming and shots from a nearby Anytime Fitness, then saw the female victim run out and into the Jimmy John’s. During the chase, the gunman shot out the front door of Anytime Fitness.
Grant Tymesen, a Jimmy John’s employee, saw the shooting.
“Two shots went off, she went down,” he said.
The workers then ran to a refrigerated area and shut the door. No customers were in the store, but one worker was left behind. When the other workers came out from hiding, they found the suspected gunman, suffering from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I took the gun away from [the gunman] because he still was breathing and blinking,” Tymesen said.
The gunman was taken to Regions Hospital by ambulance. He later died.
The shooting is being investigated. Police say it was not a random act.
The identities of those involved will be released Friday morning after families have been notified.