A co-worker fatally shot a Minnesota woman outside her workplace last week after she denied his repeated romantic advances, police said.
Nicole Hammond, 28, was found shot the morning of Oct. 24 in the parking lot of a business in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue NE in St. Cloud, about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis, police said in a news release.
The call to police came in just before 7 a.m., and authorities said “it appeared that the shooter had left the area prior to the arrival of police.”
Hammond was found lying on the ground in the parking lot with a pool of blood surrounding her head, the probable cause statement said.
Officers attempted lifesaving measures, but she died at the scene. According to the autopsy, she was shot in the right side of her neck, and the bullet was found in the left shoulder area.
Police identified Michael Jordan Carpenter, 36, of St. Cloud, as the suspect. Carpenter, who was known to the victim, was charged with second-degree murder.
In the investigation, police spoke with co-workers who indicated that Carpenter had made numerous advances toward Hammond, “but his advances had been repeatedly rebuffed over the course of the past month,” the probable cause statement said.
Co-workers also described the defendant as having a bad temper.
A review of Hammond’s phone found numerous texts between her and Carpenter.
The night before the shooting, Hammond indicated that she “did not want to be touched by the defendant, nor did she want to be manipulated by him,” the probable cause statement said.
“She also informed him to not make things uncomfortable at work," the filing said.
A search of Carpenter's vehicle found a 9 mm pistol with a round in the chamber and a loaded magazine in a carrying case on the driver’s side rear seat. The style and the brand of bullets matched the shell casing found next to Hammond, according to the filing.
Carpenter was arrested at a residence in Sauk Rapids at 9:50 a.m. Oct. 24 and taken to the police department for questioning. Police said a handgun was recovered.
Carpenter told police that he walked toward Hammond’s car that morning, heard a gunshot and saw a person attending to her, according to the probable cause statement. But police said in the statement he would not have been able to see someone helping her because the lighting in the lot and vehicles blocked the line of sight.
He said he saw a lot of blood and was too traumatized, so he left. He did not render aid, go to work or call 911, the statement said. He also told officers he was upset about the text conversation with Hammond.
Police said Carpenter provided multiple contradictory statements, including that he was aware that Hammond had not clocked into work even though he did not go in the business or clock in himself.
He was booked into the Benton County Jail, where he remained, and was charged with second-degree felony murder. If he is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail.
Lawyer information for Carpenter was not immediately available.