MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman is dead and an intense manhunt continues Saturday in Mendota Heights.
Police are looking for 44-year-old Lucifer Vincent Nguyen, who is believed to be armed and dangerous. He is 5-foot-5-inches tall and 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt.
Police were first called to a report of an armed robbery on the 1600 of Delaware Avenue at about 10 a.m., which led to a vehicle pursuit of a suspect, described as an Asian man armed with a handgun.
The suspect crashed his white passenger car into a swamp, and then ran into the White Pine Senior Living Center on Plaza Drive near Dodd Road.
The center was evacuated as police searched for the suspect. A nearby shopping center and the Mendakota Country Club were also in lockdown or evacuated.
The body of a deceased woman was found in an office building next to the care center later in the afternoon.
Police say it’s possible the suspect stole a vehicle and fled the area. Several other agencies are helping in the search.
“We have a lot of people out here who were really hoping that we would find that suspect and be able to bring him into custody,” Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy said. “It’s a tragedy and it’s demoralizing for everybody.”
McCarthy said the last homicide in Mendota Heights was in 2014, when Officer Scott Patrick was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Dodd Road.
Brian Fitch Sr. was convicted in February of first degree murder in Patrick’s death. He is now serving life in prison without parole.
WCCO spoke with Mike Geraghty, a family friend who knows the victim of the initial home invasion.
“He broke into the house and robbed her. Like I said, she was babysitting their grandson and, of course she’s, I’m sure, very traumatized,” Geraghty said.
Police are still at the scene, and they are slowly letting the residents back into the area.
Bob Leach’s 84-year-old mother is one of the seniors that was evacuated from White Pine Senior Living after police caught word the gunman had been there. Luckily, no one there was hurt.
“What she’s going through with the Alzheimer’s, didn’t need it, so she’s kind of shook up,” Leach said.
Just across the street from White Pine, police believe the same gunman killed a woman inside an office building.
“We started seeing the people come in, the police coming in. We came out and asked them, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘Well.’ I said, ‘Are we safe in here?’ and they said, ‘No,'” Eric Lee of Boltz’s Taekwondo said.
Lee’s martial arts business was one of dozens in the surrounding area that went into lockdown mode for several hours as police across the metro began searching for a gunman who could be anywhere.
Authorities urged people in the area to be careful who they came across in the hours following the shooting , as they searched for a suspected killer who spread fear and chaos in his path.
“I’m just heartbroken for the family. There’s not a lot of people working in that building as it is, pretty vacant there. But could have been a lot more damage done,” Leach said.
This is a developing story. Stay with WCCO.com as more details become available.