No good deed goes unpunished, and some can be downright fatal. This was sadly the case for a 69-year-old Minneapolis retiree who offered refuge to a younger man claiming he was being pursued by men with baseball bats.
The Star-Tribune writes that Thomas Sonnenberg was shot in the head last Friday by 20-year-old Devon Derrick Parker, who showed up at the door of Sonnenberg’s home insisting his life was in danger. Minneapolis police have since concluded that Parker’s tale was a ruse to gain entrance to the home, most likely with an eye toward burglarizing it.
Parker might have gotten away with both crimes had Sonnenberg not phoned 911 to report the young man’s dilemma. Police responding to the call arrived at the house just before noon. There they found Sonnenberg dead and Parker still inside.
John Elder, a police spokesman, told reporters:
Police recovered a handgun in the house, and it’s believed to be the murder weapon. My understanding is that it was one shot.
There was no indication that there were people actually following and attempting to kill [Parker] or harm him.
Court records reveal that Parker is on probation for a felony assault committed in 2011. Following his was conviction of third-degree assault with substantial bodily harm, he served 36 days and received a stayed one-year prison sentence. He also has drug and trespassing convictions.
Sonnenberg is survived by a wife and three daughters, one of whom posted on Facebook Friday:
My DAD was cruelly taken from me and my family today. Please pray for justice for him and wish him to be at peace! I loved him very much! The world will be a much sadder place without him in it.