HOPKINS (WCCO) — A 24-year-old Hopkins man has been charged with second degree murder after authorities say he killed his former neighbor, 67-year-old John Gallagher, with an ax.

According to the criminal complaint, 24-year-old Mitchell Edward Hoogenakker used an ax to break into the Hopkins home of Gallagher, his former neighbor, and his wife early Friday morning,

As Gallagher’s wife ran to call 911, she saw Hoogenakker pull her husband into the living room and onto the floor. Hoogenakker hit Gallagher using both arms before pulling him outside. When officers arrived, they found Gallagher dead in the front yard with injuries to his back and head.

Hoogenakker was arrested a few blocks away with the help of police canines. Investigators found an axe-like tool at his home with the word “Hoogenakker” etched on the shaft. Hoogenakker admitted to authorities he had been at Gallagher’s house and had hit him with the ax until he stopped breathing.

Gallagher had an active harassment restraining order against Hoogenakker that was filed in July.

Public records show Hoogenakker was civilly committed for mental illness for October of last year, but that was terminated in April.

Hoogenakker will make his first court appearance Tuesday where prosecutors will request $1 million bail.


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