Murder charge in Minnetonka park-and-ride ramp shooting

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

A 25-year-old Columbia Heights man was charged with second-degree murder at a Minnetonka park-and-ride ramp, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Marcus Hallmark is charged with the Friday evening murder of 32-year-old Thomas John Russ of Minneapolis. He is expected to make his first appearance Wednesday and prosecutors are seeking $1 million bail.

According to the criminal complaint, Russ was the boyfriend of Hallmark’s sister and earlier Friday, Russ, Hallmark and two women identified only as witness A and witness B were hanging out in a home in Columbia Heights. Witness A lent her car to Hallmark, but at some point he abandoned it at the park-and-ride ramp on Wayzata Boulevard in Minnetonka because it had a flat tire.

That evening, the four of them drove to the ramp so that Russ could change the tire. The two women sat in the car while Hallmark and Russ worked on the other car’s flat tire. Both witnesses reported hearing a loud bang, looked over and saw Russ on the ground. They then saw Hallmark bend over and fire another shot before running away, the complaint states. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Russ died of two gunshot wounds to the head.

Police tracked Hallmark to a swamp, where they arrested him and recovered a handgun. The handgun was traced to a burglary in Farmington. Police also recovered a bag with other stolen items from that burglary. In the bag was Hallmark’s driver’s license, according to the complaint.


Criminal Complaint (PDF)