ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Within minutes of a family being terrorized in their home, St. Paul police were able to capture two suspects, in part because of a watchful neighbor.
Two masked men broke into a lower-level apartment on Stinson Street Monday night where Nancy Brown and her six kids were sleeping. Her husband was at work.
Brown said she wasn’t sure anyone on the home would live to tell the story.
“You’re thinking that’s like the end of your life, not knowing if they’re going to shoot you and your kids or just you,” she said.
Brown said two men burst through her front door and went right to her bedroom, with one of them pointing a gun.
“And he’s asking me ‘where is it, I know you know where the stuff is, where is it? Tell me,'” she said. “I says, ‘I don’t have anything, I don’t have anything.'”
Her children had been sleeping, but then one of the burglars noticed her 10-year-old daughter in the kitchen.
“(He was) pointing a gun at her and says, ‘if you want to live, follow me,'” Brown said. “And that’s when he brought her back to my room and told her to lay face down on my bed with my youngest daughter.”
Laverne Jackson lives upstairs and noticed a suspicious vehicle across the street, under a street light.
“I was looking out the window,” she said, “there was this guy walking really slow. I’m getting a good look at him walking towards the car casually.”
While she and Brown were still on the phone with the 911 operator, police pulled over a vehicle, less than half a mile away, at Maryland and Mackubin.
Officers then drove Brown and Jackson to that intersection, where they got a good look at the suspects and the masks inside their vehicle.
“They were pulling out the masks, they had the gun,” said Jackson.
“Sickening, absolutely sickening,” said Brown. “I haven’t had any sleep since Monday night.”
Brown said the intruders were asking for marijuana and money, but she had nothing to give them.
Police arrested 27-year-old Justin Valencia and 21-year-old Darius Brown and found a stolen gun in their car.
Both were booked into the Ramsey County Jail.