MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A suspect has been arrested in the fatal Highway 169 shooting that killed a youth baseball coach earlier this summer.
Plymouth Public Safety Director and Police Chief Erik Fadden announced that on Aug. 24, officials arrested a 33-year-old Chicago man in Decatur, Illinois.
The man is currently in custody in Chicago, and is awaiting extradition. He has not been officially charged, but Fadden said he would be for second-degree murder.
Fadden said police had spent more than 1,500 hours on the case, with his office receiving more than 400 tips from the public. The investigation is still open and active.
“This has been an all-hands approach,” Fadden said. “This was truly a needle in a haystack.”
Fadden did not say whether there were additional suspects, or a motive behind the shooting.
Jay Boughton, 56, was driving home on July 6 with his son after coaching a youth baseball game when he got into an altercation with another driver on Highway 169. The driver shot him in the head, and Boughton lost control of his car, crashing into several other vehicles in a nearby apartment complex parking lot.
His 15-year-old son performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived at the scene. He was taken to North Memorial Health, where he died.
RELATED: Beloved Coach Jay Boughton Laid To Rest, With His Killer Still At Large (Aug. 6)
In the days following the incident, the police chief called the shooting “one of the most tragic events” he’s witnessed in his 20 years of policing.
“It was a really, truly a senseless act that resulted in the loss of a human life,” Fadden said.
A $10,000 reward was also announced for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Then, on Aug. 11, Plymouth police announced they recovered an SUV matching a description of the suspect vehicle, and were processing the vehicle to gather possible evidence. Finding the car was key, Fadden said, in identifying the suspect. He was not able to share how the suspect is connected to the vehicle, but said he appears to live in Chicago and has a criminal history.
Fadden said that the family had been notified the day the arrest was made. He said they were grateful and feel a sense of relief.
“It’s been a tough and tiring and exhausting eight weeks, so it was nice to be able to have a good phone conversation with a family that has had nothing but bad news over the last eight weeks,” said Fadden. “This doesn’t do anything to bring Jay back, clearly, but I think it does help the family understand that they’re not going to be wondering forever what happened or who was responsible for this.”
Boughton was on his way home from coaching a 15U-AAA team game when he was killed. He was laid to rest in early August, with hundreds in attendance. He is survived by his wife, 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
WCCO spoke Thursday with Boughton family friends Joe Higgens and Paul Larson.
“Because he was such a wonderful guy and this was such a hateful and tragic incident, I think that’s hard to wrap your head around,” Higgens said.
“It was heartbreaking for me to hear that because I just done the same a couple hours earlier taken my son home from practice,” Larson said. “Just completely senseless.”
While it is a relief, friends say it doesn’t fill the hole left behind.
“I’m sure it’s tough to go home and not have Dad there,” Higgens said. “We want justice for Jay.”
“Hopefully they’ve caught the right person,” Larson said. “Obviously this isn’t the end of the story. There’s a family that’s in mourning now and forever more.”
WCCO does not typically name suspects until they have been formally charged with a crime.
More On WCCO.com:
- Assistant Director Who Handed Alec Baldwin Prop Gun Before Fatal Shooting Has Deep Minnesota Ties
- MN Weather: Showers And Rumbles Wednesday As Slow Storm System Moves Into State
- ‘It’s More Than The Machinery’: Farmers Come Together To Help Family In Need
- Minneapolis Triple Shooting: 2 Boys, 1 Man Hurt In Drive-By Attack