Chief calls Monday homicide 'senseless'
Senseless and meaningless are the words Rosemount Police chief Gary Kalstabakken used to describe the death of Anthony Hartman Monday night at a Rosemount car wash.
An obviously tired Kalstabakken said 24 hours into the investigation police are optimistic about finding the man who killed Hartman in cold blood. He said they have received some promising tips and are hoping more will come in.
Hartman was killed after a brief altercation at the Car Spa Car Wash on West Canada Avenue. Kalstabakken said Hartman was a passenger in a friend's car. The two stopped at the car wash to vacuum the vehicle.
The friend, a 20-year-old man from the Apple Valley-Rosemount area, went to a vending machine and exchanged some words and glances with the suspect, who was washing his car. The friend went back to the vehicle and then Hartman walked over. Kalstabakken said Hartman had a brief exchange with the suspect and then was shot multiple times with a handgun. Hartman died at the scene.
"It was very brief and the shooting occurred," said Kalstabakken.
While no homicide makes sense, Kalstabakken said this crime is particularly senseless.
"This one in particular, it doesn't make any sense. You're at a car wash at six o'clock in the afternoon and then the next thing you know there's a person in a bay laying dead. That's as simple as an explanation as I can give," said Kalstabakken.
There doesn't seem to be a motive for the murder. Kalstabakken said it doesn't appear the two men knew each other and the altercation leading to the murder was very brief.
After the shooting the suspect fled the scene in a Gold-colored Mercury Sable. He drove onto Canada Avenue then turned northbound onto Highway 3. Kalstabakken said the four-door car was a 1997 to 2000 and in decent condition with no identifiable marks.
Kalstabakken said there were five other vehicles at the car wash at the time of the shooting. There were several people at neighboring businesses and parking lots that witnessed the incident. He said officers are putting together the stories to figure out the exact events leading up to the shooting.
Kalstabakken said police have collected physical evidence including bullet fragments from the scene. Although he said the type of gun has not been indentified yet. Police have collected video surveillance from cameras in the area. The car wash did not have any cameras.
Kalstabakken said while the suspect is still out there he believes Rosemount is a safe community.
"We certainly don't anticipate this ever happening in our community. This is a safe community ... but at the same time we don't live in a world where this can't happen," said Kalstabakken.
The suspect has been described as a light-skinned black male, aged 25 to 30, 180 to 210 pounds and 6' 3" or taller. The man had facial hair on his chin. At the time of the shooting the suspect was wearing a gold T-shirt and long, dark-colored jean shorts that extended below the knee.
A composite drawing of the suspect was developed by a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension artist. Kalstabakken said they hope someone will recognize the suspect and step forward with information. Police believe the suspect probably either lives in the area or has some connection to the area.
This is the first homicide in Rosemount since Rosemount High School student Dakota Butler stabbed classmate Cody Casey in March of 2008. Police believed that was the first homicide in Rosemount's history.
The Rosemount Police Department is being assisted by the BCA and the Dakota County Sheriff's Department.
Any information about the shooting or the suspect should contact the Rosemount Police Department at 651-325-1985. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Minnesota Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).