South Minneapolis tattoo parlor owner Trace Maxwell's
last hours Thursday were a rolling rampage of revenge that cut a swath across the Twin Cities and left at least four bullet-riddled victims
before he put the final bullet in himself.
Police say Maxwell, 40, a father of nine who sold drugs and prostitutes on the side
, began by calling the mother of one of his children and saying: I'm going to shoot people tonight
And then he did, going first to north Minneapolis, where he shot and killed a girlfriend, Amy Terborg, 28
, and wounded 20-year-old Gina Fredrickson
, who had moved with Terborg that day to an address on Logan Avenue N.
Fredrickson was in serious condition Thursday night in Hennepin County Medical Center.
From Logan Avenue, Maxwell drove to Brooklyn Park, to the home of Jason Rand
, a contractor with alcohol problems who neighbors say owed money to a lot of people, and whose brother died last year in his home, neighbors said.
Maxwell shot and killed Rand, police said, then drove across the Twin Cities to a home in Inver Grove Heights, where he shot and killed a man. That man, like Rand, had taken out a restraining order on Maxwell, saying he had intimidated and threatened them.
It's not yet exactly clear what tied all of the victims together, or what set Maxwell off; he partially explained himself to a Minneapolis detective who reached him by cell phone Thursday morning after police tracked his calls and closed in on the SUV he was driving.
Maxwell talked to the detective as he led a dozen police cruisers on a slow chase along East Lake Street. As the detective tried to talk Maxwell into surrendering, Maxwell shot himself
, police say. The rolling SUV mowed down a light pole and slammed into a low fence around a gas station at E. Lake Street and 17th Avenue.
"At no point did he give a coherent explanation for why he did these things,"
said Capt. Amelia Huffman of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The department has not officially identified the shooter, but the Star Tribune learned his name through sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Maxwell knew all of the victims from business dealings, police said.
He was co-owner of Tattoo Genius at W. 38th St. and Nicollet in Minneapolis, but he was also a suspected drug dealer working on the city's North Side, according to sources with knowledge of the case.
With the killer now dead, it could be a long time before detectives fully understand the reasons for Thursday's rampage, Huffman said.
Fredrickson, though wounded, called 911 just before 2:30 a.m., and police rushed to 1328 Logan Av. N. The killer had fled by the time officers arrived.
Neighbors said the two women had just moved in, and no one on the block had a chance to meet them yet.
Minneapolis detectives quickly zeroed in on Maxwell as a suspect, according to a source. A short time later Brooklyn Park police reported a shooting just after 3 a.m. in the Willows of Aspen housing development, where they found Rand dead.
Rand lived in a housing development full of recently built homes, wide green lawns and parks. On Thursday afternoon, children ran up and down the sidewalks near Rand's home.
"He was a car guy," said one neighbor, who asked that his name not appear in the paper. "All I can really say is that he was a fairly friendly guy."
At least one neighbor knew that Rand owed a lot of money to other contractors. A woman who lives on the same street said a contractor came to her door and asked if she knew where Rand was, apparently after knocking on Rand's door to no avail. "He said he was owed $12,000 and that someone else was owed $25,000," the woman said.
The shooter called Rand early Thursday morning and told him he had something to drop off, according to a neighbor, who learned of the shooting from a police investigator. "He opened his door and the guy shot him," the woman said, relaying what she had learned from police.
Sometime after the shooting in Brooklyn Park, a Minneapolis police detective got Maxwell's cell phone number from his mother and began calling. The detective had several conversations with Maxwell, who was in his vehicle somewhere in the metro area. The detective urged Maxwell to turn himself in and put an end to the violence. He sounded despondent, police said.
As the morning wore on, investigators turned to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Violent Offender Task Force for help, using the agency's network to find Maxwell. They found him at 7:20 a.m., still driving his Chevrolet Tahoe, and a low-speed chase began.
A man waiting for a bus along Lake Street said he saw Maxwell drive past, with a parade of emergency vehicles behind him.
"It didn't look like he was trying to avoid them," said Ken Koepke. "I think he was trying to get his last telephone calls in."
Maxwell drove through red lights but wasn't driving much faster than the 30 mile-per-hour speed limit, said Koepke.
Then, apparently without warning, Maxwell shot himself.
Tawnya Henry, who is Maxwell's sister-in-law, said that the family had been told of his death, but that she did not know he'd been accused of the earlier shootings.
"I just know that he died," she said. "It's a sad day for us. A sad day for a lot of people."
Alex Fredrickson, the wounded woman's brother, said that he was on his way to the hospital to visit Gina, and that Gina's mother was with her. Asked how he was doing, he said: "Not too good."
Terborg's family tried to persuade her to leave Maxwell because of his "extreme" temper
, said her brother, Kyle Terborg, who lives in San Francisco. Maxwell had been abusive, knocking her unconscious two months ago
, her brother said.
The two siblings talked Wednesday night, "and I was trying to get her to come and live with me here so she could get out of that situation," he said.
Kyle Terborg called Maxwell "a modern-day pimp,"
saying Maxwell used to run "a bordello."
He said his sister was not involved in any sex trade.
He said his sister defended Maxwell.
"She always had hope," Kyle Terborg said.
"Amy was a very optimistic person. She was very kind. ... For better or worse, she was always looking at the better side of an individual rather than the way other people perceived them."
Staff writers Bob von Sternberg, Jenni Pinkley, Anthony Lonetree, Mary Lynn Smith and Paul Walsh contributed to this report.