Cops: Minn. man kills Good Samaritan trying to help him

Devon Parker, 20, was arrested and charged with 2nd-degree murder in the shooting death of 69-year-old Thomas Sonnenberg on Friday.
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A 20-year-old man was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a Good Samaritan who was trying to help him, reports CBS Minnesota.

Devon Derrick Parker, who has several past felony assault charges on his record, is accused of killing 69-year-old retired technician and veteran Thomas Sonnenberg after being let into the victim’s home on Friday.

On the night of the incident, police say Parker beat on the door of Sonnenberg’s north Minneapolis home, yelling that someone was trying to kill him. When the victim let him in, Parker allegedly grabbed a gun that Sonnenberg was wearing.

“The gun, which we believe was used to kill Mr. Sonnenberg, was a gun that Mr. Sonnenberg normally carried,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “He apparently took the loaded gun off of Mr. Sonnenberg’s hip and shot him in the head, killing him.”

The victim's wife, Elaine Sonnenberg, told police she had heard Parker ask her husband for a gun, knife, hat and gloves. She then heard one gunshot.

Parker came out of the kitchen brandishing her husband's revolver, she told police. He eventually told her to lock them both in an upstairs bedroom, but they came back down when they heard noises.

Investigators recovered the victim's gun underneath the bed in the upstairs bedroom.

Parker, who was on probation for a felony assault in 2011, remained jailed Monday. Prosecutors did not know if Parker had an attorney yet. A court appearance is set for Tuesday.

“He let him in and locked him in the house with my mom and him to save this man and protect his life,” said Rachel Baufield, Sonnenberg’s daughter, on Sunday.

Baufield said her father, an Army veteran, was kindhearted, unable to turn away people who came to his doorstep.

“We know that my dad thought he was saving somebody. He thought that this man’s life was in danger, that’s why he let him in,” Baufield said.

It is unknown why Parker might have picked the Sonnenberg's home, which was roughly two miles away from his own.