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Charges detail 'chaotic' events that led to 6-hour standoff in Duluth

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson is charged with 21 crimes in connection to Friday's incidents.
Cody Lee Walker-Nelson duluth

The charges against a Duluth man who was in an hours-long standoff with police on Friday detail his alleged crime spree that spanned two states hours prior, including stealing a dozen guns and two vehicles, attempting to rob a bank, and fleeing police.

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson, 30, is charged with 21 counts, including 19 felonies, in connection to the Oct. 1 incidents that ended with his arrest following a six-hour standoff with law enforcement in an apartment at 601 N Central Ave. in Duluth. 

The Duluth Police Department released on Tuesday a timeline of the "chaotic" events of Oct. 1, which are also detailed in court documents.  

Here's what police and prosecutors allege happened: 

Sometime between 7:45-11:33 a.m., Walker-Nelson slashed the screen of a home on Karky Road in Superior, Wisconsin, and stole 12 guns. The Douglas County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft. 

He then drove to Duluth, where he stole a Chevy Tahoe from 336 North 58th Ave. W at 11:33 a.m. 

At 12:19 p.m., Walker-Nelson drove the stolen SUV to 10401 Highway 23, driving "through" the front gate of the property and "through" the overhead garage doors and pole barn. 

While there, he "rummaged through" the pole barn and garage and he broke a window to the home (no one was there) and rummaged around inside. He apparently got hurt breaking one of the windows becuase he left his blood at the scene. 

Eight minutes later, at 12:27 p.m., he drove the stolen SUV to New Duluth Auto, 1415 Commonwealth Ave. While there, he got into the driver's seat of a Subaru that was parked at the lot. The business owner confronted him, and Walker-Nelson, who was armed with a large sword, said, "I'm taking this." 

Walker-Nelson didn't, though. Instead he got back in the stolen Tahoe and fled. The businessowner's son followed him, and Walker-Nelson waved an item that looked like an airsoft pistol or BB gun out the driver's side window. 

Six minutes later, at 12:33 p.m., a Duluth police officer was on Grand Avenue and attempted to stop the stolen Tahoe. When the officer activated his lights, Walker-Nelson "jerked his vehicle to try to get around a van in front of him" but crashed into the rear of the van and "sped off erratically."

At 12:36 p.m., Walker-Nelson drove to a Holiday gas station at 5430 Grand Ave., nearly speeding into a car that was exiting the parking lot. There, he got into a Ford Escape and fled, leaving the Tahoe behind. The owner of the Escape was inside the store when her vehicle was stolen; she'd left her keys on the driver's seat.

Nearly an hour later, at 1:40 p.m., Walker-Nelson drove the Escape the wrong way across the Bong Bridge back to Superior, Wisconsin, where he attempted to rob a bank on Belknap Street. The Superior Police Department is investigating this incident.

At 1:48 p.m., he drove back to Duluth, pulling a silver handgun on a man and a woman in a car at 418 N 51st Ave. W. and accusing them of "working with the feds." 

The man got out of the car and tried to calm Walker-Nelson down. Walker-NElson then shot a round into the sky and then pointed the gun back at the man and woman demanding their money. The man handed him $80.

Walker-Nelson left them with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and Smith and Wesson .357 handgun, and then took off in the stolen Escape. The two guns were linked to the burglary in Superior that morning. 

No one was injured in this incident.

At 2:13 p.m., Walker-Nelson drove the stolen Escape to the Milkhouse on 2703 Piedmont Ave. An off-duty Duluth police officer was filling up his personal vehicle with gas, and when inside the store a customer informed the officer Walker-Nelson was in his truck. 

The officer went outside to confront Walker-Nelson, and he got back into the stolen Escape, telling the officer he thought it was his friend's truck and he was going to mess with it. He had a long gun on his lap. 

When th eofficer tried to take his picture, he drove off. 

A short time later, Hermantown police found Walker-Nelson on Haines Road and pursuied him. He was driving around 80 mph to get away, with Duluth police and St. Louis County Sheriff's Office deputies joining the pursuit. Going about 100 mph, Walker-Nelson fled onto Arrowhead Road to Kenwood Avenue and then into the Myers-Wilkins School neighborhood and down Mesaba Avenue. 

On Mesaba Avenue, he crashed into another motorist and fled. Due to heavy traffic and safety concerns, police stopped pursuing Walker-Nelson after 8.2 miles. During the pursuit, he drove into oncomoing traffic, nearly hit "several" vehicles and drove through stop signs and stop lights.

A sergeant was parked in the area of 27th Avenue West and West 3rd Street when he heard what sounded like a gunshot and then Walker-Nelson sped past him. 

The sergeant pursued Walker-Nelson, who was weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, and driving into oncomoing traffic. The sergeant stopped pursuing him at 48th Avenue West and Grand Avenue. 

Then, at about 2:37 p.m., Duluth police officers located the Escape near Cody and Central Ave. Walker-Nelson drove to 601 North Central Avenue and was seen taking "several" guns out of the stolen Escape. He barricaded himself in an apartment unit.

A six-hour standoff.

During the standoff, Walker-Nelson shot four times through the apatment window at a drone that officers were using to survey the scene. He also shot one time through the walls of the apartment into the adjoining apartments. 

At one point, he threw a Llama .45 handgun, Remington 700 rifle and Winchester 270 rifle out of the apartment window. The guns were linked to the burglary in Superior earlier in the day. 

Duluth police attempted to get Walker-Nelson to surrender and eventually the department's Tactical Response Team used "non-letahl tactics" to arrested him.

Walker-Nelson was taken into custody at 8:27 p.m. and was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation before being booked into the St. Louis County Jail.

In the apartment, invesigators found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two swords, a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun and an Anderson AR-15. These guns were also linked to the burglary in Superior. 

No one was injured during the "chaotic" events on Friday. 

Walker-Nelson faces 21 charges. They are:

  • Three counts of theft, felonies, including for the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Ford Escape, and the officer's personal vehicle at the Milkhouse.
  • Third-degree burglary, felony, in connection to the incident at 10401 Highway 23. 
  • Attempted theft, felony, in connection to the Subaru at New Duluth Auto
  • Two counts of hit and run, misdemeanors, including on Grand Avenue and on Mesaba Avenue.
  • Second-degree assault, felony, in connection to the incident on North 51st Avenue West.
  • First-degree aggravated robbery, felony, in connection to the incident on North 51st Avenue West.
  • Three counts of reckless discharge of a firearm, felonies, in connection to the North 51st Avenue West incident, as well as during the later standoff. 
  • Two counts of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, felonies
  • Seven counts of felon in possession of ammunition or a firearm, felonies. His criminal history, which includes convictions for crimes of violence and felony fifth-degree assault, prevents him from legally possessing firearms or ammunition. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to the Superior Police Department for more information on the attempted bank robbery.

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