Fischer pleads guilty in shooting, assaulting police after stabbing himself
Marcus Fischer pleaded guilty to shooting a man in the chest and to two counts of assaulting police when he moved towards them with a knife he smuggled into a police interrogation room, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.
Fischer, 19, of Minneapolis will be sentenced Tuesday and is expected to receive 74 months in prison for shooting the man from whom he was buying a gun. The prison sentences for the other charges, including prohibited person with a firearm, will be shorter and run concurrently with the 74 months of first-degree assault.
The plea agreement was between Fischer and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for the first-degree assault and prohibited person charges and between Fischer and the Washington County Attorney’s Office for the two second-degree assault charges. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput was handling those cases due to a conflict of interest.
“We are pleased with this global resolution,” Freeman said. “Mr. Fischer has shown through an earlier armed robbery conviction and now this very serious shooting that he is a threat to public safety and we hope he re-evaluates his life while in prison.”
During the Wednesday morning hearing before Hennepin County District Court Judge Gina Brandt, Fischer first admitted to the facts of the shooting. Under questioning by his attorney, he admitted that on Dec. 13 he met with a man he did not know in Northeast Minneapolis in order to purchase a gun.
During the meeting, Fischer pulled out his own gun and fired a single shot into the gun seller’s chest. He acknowledged that he knew the bullet grazed the man’s heart and lodged into his lung. He also admitted he knew that the gunshot caused the victim to go into acute respiratory arrest in the ambulance and extreme measures were necessary to save his life
“And the shooting was not justified in any way?” his attorney asked.
“Right,” Fischer responded.
In the charge of a prohibited person with a gun, Fischer admitted that when police searched the house where he lived in North Minneapolis, they found a Kel-Tech 9 mm handgun in his bedroom. He knew he could not possess a gun because he was adjudicated delinquent for an armed robbery in December 2015 when he was 16.
In the case brought by Orput, Fischer admitted he was arrested at his job at the Mall of America in connection with the shooting of the gun seller. He was taken to an interrogation room in Minneapolis City Hall. His attorney said, and Fischer agreed, that he had very little memory of what happened in that room, but that after reviewing surveillance and body camera video, Fischer admitted to pulling out a knife.
According to the criminal complaint, Fischer pulled the knife and began stabbing himself when the police investigators left the room. His attorney said the officers began yelling at him from behind the door to drop the knife and this went on “for some time.” He admitted the police tried to use a Taser on him. When that failed, Fischer admitted that he walked towards the officers with the knife in his upraised hand and a reasonable person seeing that would fear for his life.
“Do you believe it was enough (evidence) that a jury would find you guilty?” Judge Brandt asked him.
“Yes,” Fischer replied.
As part of the plea deal, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office dropped a first-degree robbery charge and the Washington County Attorney’s Office dropped two counts of first-degree assault against Fischer. He will receive 60 months for the prohibited person conviction and 39 and 45 months on the two second-degree assaults. All of those are concurrent with the 74 months.
Fischer’s attorney asked Judge Brandt that Fischer be allowed to spend some time with his family before his Tuesday sentencing. Brandt denied the request out of concern for his safety and the safety of the public, she said.