Charges: Burglar killed business owner who was trying to retrieve stolen possessions in meet-up at Blaine Target

The business owner was trying to retrieve stolen property, according to charging documents.
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Pierre Jerel Anderson

A 30-year-old St. Paul man has been charged with murder after a fatal hit-and-run crash Jan. 15 in the parking lot of a Target in Blaine. 

Pierre J. Anderson, is in custody at the Anoka County Jail and facing a second-degree murder charge stemming from the incident that took place around 9:35 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Target located at 1500 109th Ave. in Blaine. 

According to the criminal complaint, officers responded to the parking lot and found a man suffering from significant injuries that were consistent with being run over by a vehicle. 

The victim, identified as 58-year-old Kenneth A. Niesen, of Brooklyn Park, died a short time after being transported to a nearby hospital. Investigators learned that Niesen was the owner of a St. Paul business that had been burglarized sometime during the evening of Jan. 15. Items stolen in the burglary were later found by Niesen available on Facebook Marketplace. 

The complaint says Niesen's "associates" arranged to meet the seller at the Blaine Target. 

Surveillance video revealed that Niesen and several others took two vehicles to Target. When the seller arrived in a white GMC Yukon, Niesen and these "associates" used their vehicles to try and block the Yukon in. 

What happened next is described below, as written in the complaint, with Niesen identified by his initials KAN. 

"As they were approaching, the driver of the Yukon drove around KAN’s vehicle, then rapidly accelerated, striking KAN (who was standing directly in front of the driver’s side headlight) and running him over. KAN appeared to have been hit by both the front and rear tires of the Yukon."

The suspect, Anderson, fled the parking lot and was spotted by police a short time later at a Speedway on Constance Blvd. in Ham Lake. There, Anderson ran from police but was tracked down by a K9 officer and taken into custody. 

The Pioneer Press reports that Anderson is a convicted felon with a checkered past that includes convictions for auto theft, simple robbery, possession of a pistol/assault weapon, possession of burglary/theft tools, and theft and fleeing police in a motor vehicle. 

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