MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) – Maplewood Police say the owner of a liquor store stopped a robbery by shooting a man who was attacking his wife.
Just before 7 p.m. Monday, police say two men entered Princess Liquors and began assaulting a woman working behind the counter. The owner then fired a gun, hitting one of the suspects.
“It was very quiet. So it would have been an easy target,” said Kristi Miller, who runs Maple Leaf Barbers. “One of them was beating on his wife, so he shot him.”
Police say two men entered Princess Liquors, hoping to rob it. One of them began to assault the owner’s wife, who was working behind the counter. Her husband then pulled out a gun and shot the man, and the suspects ran out of the store.
“I’m seeing reflections off my garage. I’m in the living room. My living room is in the back there,” said neighbor Bruce Linroth.
Linroth was vacuuming when he looked outside and saw someone laying on his lawn.
“Here I see it’s a body. And the police are around him and they are trying to revive him. I hear people behind him saying, is he still breathing and this and that,” said Linroth.
Police identified the suspect as 23-year-old Willie Young-Ferba of Chicago. He was taken to Regions Hospital, where he died from a gunshot wound.
On Tuesday afternoon, his boots remained on Linroth’s front yard. Police are still looking for the other man involved. Miller said she feels for her business neighbors, whom she describes as friendly and hard-working.
“Very calm and laid back. They carry everything out, they do everything themselves. He works every single day and then she works a day job and comes there and works nights,” said Miller.
The woman who was assaulted was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Her husband does have a permit to carry, and police say at this point there is no reason to believe he would face any kind of charges.
Willie Young-Ferba has a lengthy criminal history that includes theft and assault.
The second suspect remains at-large, and the incident remains under investigation.