Special Operations Training Association of the Upper Midwest

Debrief: 2017 Home Invasion by Dakota County MAAG / Washington Co SWAT

Synopsis: At approximately 0830 hours on July 29th, 2017, Lucifer Nguyen entered a residence in Mendota Heights and robbed the homeowner at gunpoint.  He quickly fled the home with victim’s driver’s license, checkbook, and cash.  The robbery victim contacted the Mendota Heights Police Department to report the robbery, providing dispatch with both a vehicle and suspect description.  Responding officers located Nguyen a short time later and a brief pursuit ensued.  

Nguyen eventually crashed his vehicle and fled into the White Pines Senior Living Facility.  Upon entering the White Pines building, Nguyen again presented a handgun and ordered a staff member into a laundry room before taking her set of keys to the facility.  The Mendota Heights Police Department, along with officers from numerous adjacent agencies surrounded the building and the Dakota County MAAG Team was deployed.  Over the course of the next several hours, tactical officers worked to clear the retirement home.  

At 1208 hours, an employee of a nearby office building advised law enforcement he had been inside 750 South Plaza Drive and had observed a red liquid coming out from under the door to suite 206.  The employee believed the fluid to be blood.  Members of the Washington County SWAT Team were immediately dispatched to that building and ultimately made entry into suite 206 where they located a deceased female with a gunshot wound to her head.  Both the White Pines retirement home and the 750 South Plaza Drive office building were searched and cleared by SWAT.  It was determined Nguyen had moved through the retirement home, exited that facility, and entered the office building where he murdered Beverly Cory.  He then stole Cory’s vehicle and fled the area.  Nguyen was arrested two days later in Blaine.

This debrief will discuss the tactical response of both Dakota County MAAG and Washington County SWAT.  Topics specifically addressed include:  the challenges presented in clearing the White Pines facility, multi-team integration/communication, importance of unified command (police, fire, EMS), and the hostage rescue entry executed on suite 206. 

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