Charges reveal what happened in the moments before St. Paul mother was killed

Publish date:
Updated on

Charging documents have revealed what happened in the moments before St. Paul mother Sarah Anne Wierstad was killed in her home, after interrupting a burglary.

The 24-year-old, who worked double shifts to help support her 5-year-old child, had returned to her home at Beaumont and Bedford from a 12-hour day at work on Sunday, Oct. 17, to find her home being ransacked by three men.

According to the charges against Isiah L. Harper, 26, who on Friday was charged with one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one of first-degree burglary, Wierstad was shot after asking the thieves to return her cellphone, while her last words were of her daughter.

In a post-Miranda interview, Harper, of Minneapolis, told police that Wierstad came in through the back door of the property and turned the lights, while the men were in the process of stealing her possessions towards the front.

She was told to get on the ground while the thieves made their exit from the property, with one of them ripping her handbag from her shoulder. As they were leaving, Wierstad is said to have started following them.

It was at this point she is believed to have been shot by a man referred to as "AB," who had told her to stop following.

"The female asked if she could have her phone. She stated that her daughter was on the way. AB said he didn't care. Harper stated he was in the vehicle when he saw AB go back in and heard 4 to 5 shots," the charging documents say. "AB then ran back and got into the vehicle."

Police still seeking potential shooter

One of the bullets hit Wierstad in the left foot, another proved fatal as it went through her arm and into her side, piercing her heart. She was found outside her home by a neighbor, but was later pronounced dead in a hospital.

The man named "AB" is still being sought by police. The other man allegedly involved in the burglary, who has the same initials, 24-year-old Alvin Bell, has already been arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Police say they found Bell's fingerprints on Wierstad's windows, and surveillance footage later showed him using her credit card at a gas station.

Harper told police that they had selected Wierstad's house at random, according to the documents.

Next Up