Skip to main content

Minneapolis good samaritan murdered trying to help stranger

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The family of a Minneapolis man who was shot and killed in his own home on Friday is talking about the incident that left 69-year-old Thomas Sonnenberg dead.

Sonnenberg's daughter Raina Baldwin told KSTP her father "had a big heart."

Police said a man knocked on Sonnenberg's door on Friday yelling that someone was trying to kill him. According to KSTP, Baldwin says her dad let the man in and called 9-1-1.

The Star Tribune reports shortly after hanging up, Sonnenberg was dead and the gunman was attacking his 68-year-old wife, according to Sonnenberg's daughter.

The newspaper reports police arrived in time to interrupt that assault.

They arrested a 20-year-old Minneapolis man on suspicion of murder. He is being held in the Hennepin County jail on Saturday, according to the Star Tribune.

The newspaper says at one point the suspect falsely claimed the "The Circle of Discipline" was trying to kill his brother at a house a block away.

The shooting took place around 11:46 a.m. on the 3700 block of Aldrich Avenue north.

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 told KSTP, "but he was trapped by his mortgage, and he felt obligated to stay."

At the time of the arrest the suspect was on probation for a felony assault in 2011, according to the Star Tribune.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Exchange of shoes sold online results in theft, shots fired

The victim had initially arranged to sell a pair of shoes to the suspect on an online marketplace.

plow, snowplow, snow

Michigan beats Minnesota to 'Betty Whiteout' snowplow nickname

There is one BIG difference between the Michigan and Minnesota snowplow contests.

kacey musgraves

Kacey Musgraves gives shoutout to Minneapolis vintage store

The country music star was in the Twin Cities kicking off her latest tour.

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.


FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Suspect in Good Samaritan shooting charged with murder

The incident unfolded at a busy Minneapolis intersection the morning of Nov. 12.