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MN Minnesota Murder Next Door- Killed on Summit Ave In Sauk Rapids
Murder Next Door
One day in March
In March of 2005, Timothy Peterson shot and killed Howard Hines in Sauk Rapids, MN. This would normally not affect me to an extreme, but my daughter and I had the unfortunate luck of living at the scene.
I remember that day so vividly. My daughter is sitting in the window and I on the couch. The sounds of gunfire echo throughout. I run to the window to investigate the cause. I cannot believe my eyes.
The man who lives downstairs, the very nice man who greets me daily with a friendly hello, is slouched to his left side in the front seat of his car. Shattered glass lay to the right, holes prominent in the windshield.
Without thinking, I run downstairs to help. The doors on the vehicle, locked. I feel helpless. My eyes dart to my apartment window to find my daughter. Her eyes, filled with terror, looking back at me. I scream to her to go to her room and hide. She does not.
Sauk Rapids, MN
After what seemed a lifetime, a single police car enters the parking lot. He sees that I am trying to break the windshield with my fist. With each forceful blow the urgency runs faster through my veins. I want to get in the car to help. I need to get in.
The officer raises his baton and with one mighty blow breaks the back window. As I fumble to put on the gloves the officer threw my way, he tells me not to bother. He is dead. I cannot believe it. I go to the open door and peer inside. I hope to find some sign of life, any slight movement to prove the officer wrong. I do not. The nice man, who is always so kind, is gone. He lay in a river of red. Bullet holes have pierced his chest and head. The shock that has engulfed him, still visible in his eyes. My attention diverted to the killer. He is lying on the parking lot tar, arms outright. He has no remorse, showing satisfaction in his grin.
Days later, I find that he is paranoid schizophrenic. He stopped taking his medication. It is understood that he thought Mr. Hines was “out to get him.”
Statistics show that those who have this disease stop taking their medication when they begin to feel normal. Their minds fool them into thinking they do not need it.His mother states that he has been in and out of mental hospitals most of his life.
I do not understand how or why we allow people, which have the potential to do something dangerous because of their given disease, are able to obtain a license that allows them to possess weapons. It infuriates me that no one thinks of the potential outcome.
For months previous, I complained to the proprietors. I questioned his mental health. I would hear loud noise and frequent arguments that occurred between Mr. Peterson and himself. He physically destroyed his vehicle with a hammer. My daughter and I playfully referred to him as Mr. Bang-bang because he would bang on the rod iron fence nightly. We do not call him that anymore.
I regret going outside that day. I did not realize that I put myself in danger, my daughter did. I feel such overwhelming guilt. My daughter has horrific nightmares. She is afraid. She thinks I am going to die. I should have stayed with her.
After much argument, the property owner now does background checks on potential tenants. This puts my mind somewhat at ease. However, I cannot help but think what could have been prevented if they checked previous to him moving in and why did they not take my complaints seriously?
As for my daughter and I, we are scared. Every loud noise, every siren passing by, anyone who resembles that man who took a life, brings the memory that continues to play over and over in our minds each day.