MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office says that a 30-year-old man has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run that happened late Wednesday night in a Target parking lot in Blaine.

Anoka County Sheriff’s Office says police responded just after 9:30 p.m. to the Target parking lot in Blaine where a pedestrian was struck by a car that fled the scene.

Emergency crews brought the victim to Mercy Hospital, where he died from their injuries. Authorities later identified the victim as 58-year-old Kenneth Niesen of Brooklyn Park.

Kenneth Niesen. (credit: Family of Ken Niesen)

About two hours after the hit-and-run, police located a suspect — 30-year-old Pierre Jerel Anderson of St. Paul — who was arrested following a foot chase.

According to the criminal complaint, Niesen owned a business that had been burglarized Wednesday evening. Police said a number of items taken during the burglary were listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Niesen and associates arranged to meet the seller at the Target in Blaine, the complaint says. They observed the items in the vehicle being driven by the man later identified as Anderson, and when they tried to block his vehicle, he accelerated around and struck Niesen, running him over.

When police caught up with Anderson’s vehicle, it showed evidence of driver’s side front body damage.

Anderson faces felony charges of second-degree murder. The maximum sentence upon conviction would be 40 years in prison.

Anderson is scheduled for a court appearance Jan. 29.

On Friday, the Niesen family issued the following statement:

Ken was the most wonderful son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and friend to everyone he met.  Ken was a dedicated family man. He cherished spending time watching his boys’ drag race at the same tracks’ where he raced. Ken loved motorcycle runs with his wife in the summer and snowmobile weekends in the winter with his family and friends.  Ken took pride in working with his father and brother for over forty years.  Words cannot express our grief.  The family is moved by all love and support they have received in the last few days – especially from the racing community.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family.

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