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Couple charged with attempted murder of MPD forensic scientist

Court documents alleged Timothy Amacher and his girlfriend plotted to shoot and kill the mother of Amacher's child in April.

MINNEAPOLIS — Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of an off-duty forensic scientist for the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to criminal complaints, 24-year-old Colleen Larson and 41-year-old Timothy Amacher are both charged with attempted first-degree premeditated murder for the April 20 shooting of Nicole Lenway. Amacher is also charged with aiding an offender.

The court documents explain the shooting happened as 33-year-old Lenway was picking up her 5-year-old child at a parenting center where Amacher was inside having a supervised visit with their son.

A judge in their custody case awarded full custody to Lenway, so supervised visits such as that were the only way he was allowed to spend time with the child. 

As Lenway got out of her vehicle the night of April 20, a suspect wearing all black, a hood, gloves and medical mask ran up from behind and shot her twice from behind, the bullets going through her neck and arm. 

Credit: Hennepin Co. Jail
Investigators say Colleen Larson shot Nicole Lenway as she stopped to pick up her child at a parenting center. She allegedly plotted the attack with boyfriend Tim Amacher, the father of Lenway's child.

Lenway is hospitalized and being treated for a perforated lung, but is expected to survive, according to the complaint. She was able to provide information to investigators in writing.

Using surveillance video and witness interviews, investigators came to the conclusion that Larson was the shooter. The criminal complaint explains that Larson is Amacher's girlfriend, and according to KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse, Larson was Amacher's student for many years at the Taekwondo studio he runs in White Bear Lake.

Amacher is the father of Lenway's child, and according to court documents, the pair's relationship "involved domestic violence and extreme harassment and stalking" by Amacher over the last several years. 

The complaint says that at one point, Amacher had instructed his child to lie to a social worker about being abused by Lenway and her boyfriend. According to the custody file, Amacher even filed police reports making that unfounded accusation, and that was one factor that led to the judge awarding full custody to Lenway.

Credit: Hennepin Co. Jail
Timothy Amacher is the father of Lenway's child, and according to court documents, the pair's relationship involved domestic violence and harassment.

Larson, the 24-year-old charged in the case, testified on Amacher's behalf in the custody trial, referring to him as "Master Amacher" as his Taekwondo students do.

In February, the custody file was amended to allow Amacher to have supervised visitations.

At the time of the shooting, Amacher was inside FamilyWise family services/visitation center having a supervised visit.

Investigators determined that Larson had driven one of Amacher's cars, a Dodge Ram, to and from the scene of the shooting.

According to the complaint, officers executed a search warrant at Larson and Amacher's residence on April 28 in St. Paul and found several .380 discharged cartridge cases, which the Hennepin County Crime Lab determined were fired from the gun that shot Lenway.

Investigators also learned that in Feb. 2022, Amacher allegedly offered a friend $50,000 to kill Lenway, according to the complaint.

Both Larson and Amacher are in jail. Court documents filed in Hennepin County show bail was ordered at $1 million.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or text "START" to 88788.

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