MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — A man accused of murder and robbery in Mendota Heights now faces criminal charges while on the run from police.
Police are looking for 44-year-old Lucifer Nguyen. He’s suspected of fatally shooting a woman in an office building Saturday while fleeing officers who were chasing him for another crime.
The focus of Monday’s search was on the Stillwater area, where Nguyen was reportedly spotted Saturday afternoon, police say, adding that the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who sees Nguyen, or anything suspicious, is urged to call 911. Police say he could be anywhere in the Twin Cities metro, traveling on foot, asking for rides or using public transportation.
The hunt for Nguyen began Saturday morning after he allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint in her home on Delaware Avenue in Mendota Heights. Responding officers spotted Nguyen driving away and chased him until he crashed into a swamp near Highway 10.
Nguyen then ran from his vehicle and into a senior living center, where he forced employees into a storage closet. Authorities surrounded the area, but Nguyen escaped.
In an office building across the street from the senior center, police found the body of a woman who’d been shot to death. The victim was identified as Beverly Cory, of Maplewood. She worked in the building as a financial adviser.
Police said Cory’s car was found Sunday in the Washington County Fairgrounds, which is about 20 miles northeast of Mendota Heights, near Stillwater.
Nguyen, who changed his first name to Lucifer in 1997, was slated to be in court in Wisconsin next month on felony battery and drug charges, records show.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and other agencies are assisting Mendota Heights police in the manhunt.
The police chief says they’ve gotten tips from here to Canada and they’re trying to figure out which ones check out. It’s a tense time in the town and around the state as the chief says Nguyen is armed, dangerous and unpredictable.
“It’s incongruent, it doesn’t seem logical but none of this has seemed logical so we’re not ruling anything out,” Chief Kelly McCarthy said.
Cory’s friends say they are baffled at the events. The 47-year-old was a major part of Quorum, helping other business leaders come together through an LGBT chamber of commerce.
“I mean people were just drawn to her, she was so outgoing and so caring and people really responded to that,” Mark, who didn’t want his last name used, said.
Mark added he’s not surprised that she was at her office on Saturday working to help clients.
“She really believed in working hard and giving back, and that’s what she did,” he said. “The biggest thing is we’ll miss her laugh. She had such a great laugh, she was just an amazing amazing woman.”
Although officers are focusing on Stillwater, Nguyen has contacts all over the state, so he could pop up anywhere. If you see him, contact the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office.