STILLWATER, Minn. - A Stillwater man is charged with 27 separate felony counts in connection with a violent crime spree that led to a hotel standoff and a fatal officer-involved shooting.
A sprawling 11-page criminal complaint issued Tuesday against 25-year-old Demetrius Santreel Ballinger lists charges that range from attempted murder and criminal sexual conduct involving a victim under the age of 13, to aggravated robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon.
The complaint alleges that Ballinger and eleven others were in a hotel room at the Red Roof Inn in Woodbury early the morning of August 31 when the defendant became upset about something. Witnesses say he pulled out a 9mm handgun, said he was going to shoot and kill everyone in the room, and then told them to empty their pockets and give him all their money and cell phones.
One of the female victims threw her phone on the ground, unknowingly triggering a 911 call. Police heard violent activity over the open line and responded to the hotel.
While officers were preparing to approach the room a man inside tried to escape. Investigators say Ballinger fired a shot at 19-year-old Mark Henderson as he fled. Three responding officers say they felt threatened by Henderson and fatally shot him.
The complaint says Ballinger later admitted he himself was trying to kill Henderson when he fired the shot.
After Henderson fled witnesses say Ballinger ordered all the females in the hotel room to go into the bathroom. There, victims tell police, the defendant ordered them to take their clothes and subsequently sexually assaulted four of them at gunpoint. All the victims are juveniles.
Ballinger later admitted he knew he was going to jail and said, quote, he "might as well get some."
SWAT officers responded to the scene and were able to talk Ballinger into letting his hostages go after more than four hours of negotiations. Investigators say he confessed to firing a shot with intent to kill, robbing and sexually assaulting his juvenile victims, and holding 11 people hostage.
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