South St. Paul man sentenced in Dollar Tree shooting

Grant David Hendrickson

Grant David Hendrickson, 28, of South St. Paul, was sentenced June 19 to 32 years in prison for killing a man and wounding another in a shooting that took place last year at a Burnsville Dollar Tree. 

He pleaded guilty on June 6 to second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of 69-year-old Donald Joseph Hortsch, of Rosemount, and second-degree attempted murder for shooting a 26-year-old man.

The surviving victim, now 27, was paralyzed below the waist as a result of being shot twice. A bullet intended for the younger man traveled through an aisle shelf and struck Hortsch, who was shopping in the store at the time.

On Nov. 7, 2016, around 12:13 p.m., Burnsville police officers were dispatched to the Dollar Tree store on reports of a shooting.

Court documents say that while responding to the store, an officer observed a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle being drive by a man matching the description of the shooter.

The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the shooter as Hendrickson. At the location of the stop, Hendrickson stated he acted in self-defense, saying he was jumped by six males and “hit” one of them.

Officers that responded to the store determined two people had been shot. One victim was identified as Hortsch, who died from a gunshot wound to his head.

The second victim had been shot twice.

According to court documents, a female witness told officers that as she was preparing to check out she heard a scuffle toward the back of the store. She told officers she saw a light skin black male — Hendrickson — exit the store and then reenter a short time later. At this time he fired a gun.

The witness said she saw a man walk to the back of the store and heard one more shot as she exited.

The witness later identified Hendrickson and his car.

The surviving victim told police he walked to the front of the store to purchase a bottle of water when he saw Hendrickson re-enter the store with a gun. 

According to court documents, the victim told police Hendrickson fired one shot, made eye contact with him then shot him one time striking his right knee.

The victim dropped to the floor behind a display, and Hendrickson walked away. He said it was quiet for a second then the victim heard a third shot. As he was lying on the floor, Hendrickson came back around the corner of the display and shot him in his torso.


—Hannah Burlingame

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