19-year-old charged with murder after girlfriend dies of injuries from shooting


Authorities say a 20-year-old St. Paul college student was removed from life support Friday, two days after she was shot in the head with her 8-month-old son in the car seat next to her.

KARE 11 reports the baby's father, Timothy Scott Hendricks, is charged with murdering the woman, Michelle Ploetz. Hendricks is also charged with attempted murder for shooting at Ploetz's father, who had been driving the car.

According to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune, the criminal complaint filed by the Ramsey County attorney's office provides this account of Wednesday's events:

Michelle Ploetz was accompanied by her father, John Ploetz, when they met Hendricks for dinner at a St. Paul restaurant. Hendricks had just been released from jail on April 9 after serving time for assault. The meeting with the Ploetzes allowed him to see his 8-month-old son.

The complaint says when they left the restaurant John Ploetz was driving with the two adults and the baby in the back seat. Ploetz told police he heard a pop from the back seat. He then felt something whiz past his head and a bullet pierced the windshield. Ploetz told police he feared for his life and ran and that Hendricks chased after him shooting.

As KSTP reports, police said they found Michelle Ploetz in the back of the 2004 Toyota Highlander next to her son. She was still breathing and was rushed to Regions Hospital.

Reports citing the criminal complaint say Hendricks later told police "I was hearing voices in my head and I just snapped and I couldn't tell you really what happened." He allegedly told police he has mental problems and he shot his girlfriend when the voices took over.

Hendricks said after the shooting of Michelle Ploetz he went blank and blacked out, saying he didn't remember shooting at John Ploetz but agreeing that it was possible he did.

The media reports say the complaint also mentions that Hendricks has been on a suicide watch at the Ramsey County jail. Police say he jumped over a railing and suffered a broken pelvis and jaw. He was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday.

The Star Tribune says Michelle Ploetz was studying business administration at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The Pioneer Press says she was a 2012 graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School, also in St. Paul.

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