MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The suspect In the shooting death of a St. Paul woman told authorities that he was hearing voices when he allegedly shot her in the head and then tried to shoot her father Wednesday evening.
According to the Ramsey County Attorney’s office, 19-year-old Timothy Scott Hendricks was charged with one count of second-degree murder in the death of his former girlfriend, 20-year-old Michelle Ploetz, and one count of second-degree attempted murder of her father, 45-year-old John Ploetz.
The trio were eating at the Little Oven Restaurant on Minnehaha Avenue and White Bear Avenue early Wednesday evening, which was arranged so Hendricks could visit his 8-month-old son.
According to the criminal complaint, John Ploetz says Hendricks asked him and Michelle “Why can’t this be like it always was?” Ploetz says they told him he needed drug treatment and a Rule 25 evaluation, which is a requirement for child custody.
Hendricks claims that during dinner, they told him they wanted full custody of his son and wanted to deny him visitation rights.
On the ride home, Hendricks claims Michelle, who was sitting in front of him in the passenger seat, was yelling at him. He says he heard voices in his head and he “snapped,” pulled a gun from his front pocket, shot her in the head and then blacked out. His son sat beside him in a car seat.
John Ploetz, who was driving, said he heard a “pop” sound come from the back seat, and then pulled over once something flew past his face, shattering the windshield. He says he exited the car to try to get the gun from Hendricks, who fired two more shots at him. Hendricks denies shooting at John Ploetz, but then added that it was possible.
Hendricks then began to chase Ploetz, but they eventually fled in separate directions.
John Ploetz says he tried to have Hendricks committed on three separate occasions because he feared for his family’s safety. He told investigators that until Hendricks is dead, “it’s not over and it’s not going to be over.”
Police arrested Hendricks after he turned up at Regions Hospital that evening. Michelle Ploetz was removed from life support on Friday and passed away.
John Ploetz and his wife Dianne released a statement Friday via Regions Hospital.
“Michelle was full of life and passions, including Korean drumming and dance, her son, and her many friends. Michelle was a very generous person. And in her spirit of generosity, she will be an organ donor, giving hope to others in need.”
Hendricks was placed on suicide watch while in custody, but still managed to jump over a railing, breaking both his jaw and pelvis. He will have surgery on Friday.
He is being held on $1 million bail.