MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – What investigators originally thought was a deadly hit and run case in Anoka County now appears to be murder.
It happened Friday night on 141st Lane Northwest in Andover. Investigators say 17-year old Tristan Robinson was killed when a driver ran over him.
They say the suspects in the car were planning to rob him of marijuana. Two men have been arrested, including Daveion Maddox. A third suspect – Loren James Gafner – remains at large.
WCCO’s Jeff Wagner talked to one of Robinson’s friends on Sunday and has more details on the investigation.
Along a quiet neighborhood street in Andover, covered in rose petals, a young life was lost a few days earlier.
“Everyone in the Andover and St. Francis community are so insanely heartbroken. Everyone like loved Tristan, he had so many friends,” friend Marina Lindell said.
Marina Lindell is one of them, and one of the few who also saw the frantic scene Friday outside her home.
“And I saw cop lights and I ran out and saw my friend on the ground bleeding from his head,” Lindell said.
Investigators initially called the incident a hit-and-run. But detectives later determined the people in the car involved planned to rob Robinson of marijuana, then ran over and killed him in the process.
“For a insequential amount of marijuana, very small amount, you have one young man who’s dead, you have the lives of several other young men who are detrimentally changed forever. You have families impacted horrifically,” Anoka County Sherri’s Commander Paul Sommer said.
Two suspects have been arrested, including 17 year old Daveion Maddox. But 19-year-old Loren James Gafner, who investigators say was behind the wheel, hasn’t been caught.
“It’s just so insanely ridiculous that like someone could do something like this and just like, hide. Like they’re hiding that’s so ridiculous, like are you crazy, like someone’s dead like over something so small,” Lindell said.
Authorities are still looking for the vehicle involved. They say it’s a 2005 Mercury Montego, gray with front end damage. The vehicle in question has a Minnesota license plate number 450 MNR.
Anyone with information on the car or Gafner’s whereabouts is asked to call the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office or 911.