MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Iowa man initially arrested on assault charges is now facing murder charges after the victim he allegedly attacked has died.
Christopher Howard Gantt, 29, was arrested Thursday on charges of homicide.READ MORE: Power Outage Causes Delays For Delta Passengers At MSP Airport
According to the criminal complaint, around 1:22 a.m. on June 14 New Hope police officers responded to a call from Outtakes Bar and Grill.
Upon arrival, police saw a male, later identified as 36-year-old John Hillstrom, of Crystal, lying unconscious on the ground with a pool of blood beneath his head.
According to police, Hillstrom was on his back, unresponsive and had labored breathing. He was taken to the hospital by paramedics immediately.
According to the criminal complaint, a bartender told police that Hillstrom and his friends had been arguing with two men, one of whom was Gantt, throughout the evening.
The arguments had become heated several times to the point where the bartender had to get involved by grabbing one of the two men to hold him back from Hillstrom.
Police said the bartender told Hillstrom to go inside as the two men and their friends were leaving, but he did not.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the men approached Hillstrom and the bartender stood between them in an attempt to keep them separated. The first suspect was angry and wanted to fight Hillstrom; he somehow got around the bartender and punched Hillstrom in the face.READ MORE: As Health Agencies Consider More Boosters, Minn. Leaders Pitch Vaccines To Kids, Parents
The victim fell to the ground when the second male allegedly ran over and punched him, knocking him to the ground, hard.
Police said Hillstrom hit his head hard on the concrete and was knocked unconscious.
According to medical records, Hillstrom suffered a traumatic brain injury, hemorrhaging, bone fractures and contusions, among other injuries.
He was taken to North Memorial Hospital where he was in a medical induced coma until he died on Nov. 30.
Interviews and surveillance video showed Gantt as the first suspect that hit Hillstrom.
Gantt was in town celebrating his birthday, but lives in Iowa.
Gantt was initially arrested on charged of assault, but let go on conditional release.MORE NEWS: Hopkins Police Investigating Fatal Shooting At Apartment Building
He was arrested on Thursday afternoon on charges of homicide.