Police hunt for suspect in Minnesota slaying

Published 8:00 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Police searched Sunday for a man suspected of killing a financial adviser inside a Minnesota business after he allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint inside a home and forced employees at a nearby senior center into a closet while he tried to escape.

Lucifer Nguyen

The Mendota Heights Police Department said on its Facebook page that investigators were working on several leads as they tried to find Lucifer Nguyen, 44.

A news release said he is wanted for homicide and is considered armed and dangerous. He has not been charged.

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Police Chief Kelly McCarthy said the victim was identified by family members as Beverly Cory of Maplewood. McCarthy said Cory worked in the office building where she was found. Her LinkedIn profile said she is a financial adviser at Edward Jones.

Cory was originally from the Wells area.

Several agencies were working on the search effort, and McCarthy said leads were “developing rapidly.”

McCarthy said police believe Nguyen entered a house in Mendota Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, at about 9 a.m. Saturday, brandished a gun and demanded cash from a female. Police responding to the report found Nguyen driving down a nearby road. He crashed his vehicle and ran into the White Pine Senior Living Center.

“He then forced employees at gunpoint into a locked storage closet and we started receiving information that he had hostages,” McCarthy said. Police and members of the SWAT team began operating under the assumption that it was a hostage situation — with the potential for a large number of victims — and they began methodically evacuating residents.

McCarthy said authorities now don’t believe it was an actual hostage situation but that “he forced those people into the closet and then just fled the building.”

As officers were helping residents leave the center, someone called to report that a substance appearing to be blood was seeping out from underneath an office door in a building across the street, the criminal complaint said. SWAT officers entered that building and found Cory dead inside. An autopsy showed she died from a single gunshot to the head, according to the complaint.

Police then discovered that Cory’s car was missing. It was found Sunday at the Washington County Fairgrounds, about 16 miles away. A man who lives near the fairgrounds told police that Nguyen approached him around 11 a.m. Saturday and asked for a ride to a nearby casino. The man declined.

About 2½ hours later, Nguyen bought a cellphone at a Walmart about three miles from the fairgrounds, the complaint said.McCarthy said she believes Nguyen was out of the area before police had set up a perimeter.

No one in the Senior Center was injured.

“I’m so thankful we didn’t have further loss of life,” she said.

Recent court records list a New Hope address for Nguyen. In Minnesota, Nguyen has been convicted of misdemeanor theft and drunken driving. He’s also been charged in Wisconsin.

According to a press release, Nguyen’s due to appear in a Superior, Wisconsin, courtroom next month on felony battery and drug charges, and he recently pleaded no contest in a hit-and-run there involving an unattended vehicle.