BLAINE, Minn. — A St. Paul man is facing a murder charge in a fatal hit-and-run that happened in Blaine on Thursday.
Authorities believe Pierre Jerel Anderson fatally struck Kenneth Alan Niesen after Niesen and his friends set up a meeting to buy back items that Anderson had allegedly stolen from Niesen's business.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Anoka County court, Anderson, 30, is charged with second degree murder while committing a felony.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, police responded to a report that a man had been run over by a vehicle in a Target parking lot at 1500 109th Avenue in Blaine. Officers arrived on scene and found a man, later identified as Niesen, 58, suffering from significant injuries. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died shortly afterward.
After interviewing witnesses, police were able to figure out that Niesen owned a St. Paul business that had been burglarized the previous night. Some of the stolen items then showed up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
According to the criminal complaint, Niesen and some associates made arrangements to meet the seller at the Target. Surveillance video showed the seller, later identified by police as Anderson, pull up in a white Yukon. According to the court documents, once Niesen's group looked into the vehicle and saw the items they believed had been stolen, Niesen pulled up and blocked the Yukon.
The complaint says several people from Niesen's group approached the Yukon, and then Anderson went around Niesen's vehicle, accelerated, and hit Niesen, who was standing in front of the Yukon.
Niesen's friends and other witnesses gave officers a description of the seller and his vehicle. Officers located the vehicle in Ham Lake at a Speedway, and then saw a man fleeing on foot. According to the complaint, officers tracked down Pierre Jerel Anderson, and arrested him.
Anderson could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Court records show that he has a lengthy criminal history, including felony motor vehicle theft and driving after revocation.