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Charges in N. Mpls homicide: Good samaritan killed by his own gun


A 20-year-old man is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of a North Minneapolis homeowner Friday morning. Devon Parker allegedly shot Thomas Karl Sonnenberg, 69, with his own gun, according to FOX 9.

The criminal complaint says police were called to Sonnenberg's home on Aldrich Avenue N. after he called 911 around noon to report a man seeking help from people pursuing him with a baseball bat.

Sonnenberg let the man in and locked the door. When police arrived, they looked through the window to see Sonnenberg's body.

His wife came to the door to say she couldn't unlock it. As officers kicked in the door, they saw Parker assault Sonnenberg's wife, Elaine.

Sonnenberg, who was unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the forehead, was wearing a gun holster but no gun.

According to the Star Tribune, Elaine Sonnenberg told police Parker seemed " frantic and paranoid." She heard him ask her husband for a gun, knife, hat and gloves. She then heard one gunshot.

Sonnenberg's Smith and Wesson was found in the upstairs bedroom with one round discharged.

Parker is in the the Hennepin County jail. He was on probation for felony assault.

Elaine Sonnenberg is staying with family members while she recovers from attempted strangulation and trauma. The couple had lived in the home for 30 years, and raised three children there. One of their daughters said they were unable to move because of an underwater mortgage.

The daughter, Raina Baldwin, said her father was known for his big heart.

Baldwin told KSTP she had asked her father to move from the neighborhood after his home was burglarized in 2001.

“I begged him to move,” Baldwin said, “but he was trapped by his mortgage, and he felt obligated to stay.”

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