A violent ambush shooting, the carjacking of a Good Samaritan, a $200-thousand armored car robbery and some twists and turns that sound like they came out of a TV police show. Those are the main elements in a case that came to an end with the arrest of a Wisconsin man this week.
The crimes happened on two days in May in 2003. A woman was shot in the face in rural Washington County, Minnesota, and a nurse who came to her aid had her van stolen. The van turned up the next day near a bank in Hudson where two armored car guards had just been robbed. Police were unable to get near the van because it was on fire and there were explosions. The armored car robber got away.
Then, in June of this year, two men are stopped by Minneapolis police for traffic violations. Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton says the two men in the car had nothing to do with the shooting, but a gun found in the care was traced to its original owner, 31 year old Zachary Weigand, a man with no criminal record except for an unserved warrant for employee theft.
Hutton says Weigand was arrested at a WalMart store in St. Croix Falls where he was an employee. Confronted with evidence taken during a search of his home Weigand has reportedly confessed to the crimes, according to Hudson police chief Marty Jensen. Weigand is being held in a Minnesota jail while prosecutors from the two states work out their cases.
The victim of the shooting – Julie Bever of Lake Elmo, Minnesota – underwent several surgeries for her shooting injuries. She is said to be “very pleased” with the arrest in the case.