Jonas Gerald Grice arrested in Anthony Hartman's car wash shooting death
Anthony Hartman's dad, Dave, said his son was stepping up for a buddy caught in an argument. His mom, Karen, said she wished that maybe he'd been a little less of a hero. Either way, when he was gunned down at the Car Spa carwash, off South Robert Trail in Rosemount on Monday, his parents pleaded with the public to help them find his killer.
Yesterday, Jonas Gerald Grice turned himself in to Burnsville police and was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder in Hartman's death. He's being held at the Dakota County jail ahead for formal charges that are expected to be filed Friday.
Investigators say Hartman and a friend got into an argument with someone at the car wash, and that Hartman apparently tried to intervene on his friend's behalf when he was shot dead. The whole episode was over so fast that it took a while for other folks using the car wash to understand they were witnesses. Then they helped police work up a description of the shooting suspect.
Grice has quite the rap sheet, including a fifth-degree assault conviction in 2003 in Ramsey County and a guilty plea in 2007 to third-degree sexual assault for date rape. In 2005, authorities sought to have him committed to a psychiatric facility.
Hartman was a 2006 graduate of Rosemount High School. Cops say Hartman's death is the first homicide in Rosemount since 2008, and maybe only second in the city's history.
Grice's mother is a Star Tribune employee. She told the paper:
...her son is a "good kid" who went willingly with his parents to Burnsville police, and that she believes he was likely trying to defend himself following the altercation.
His father, Gerald Grice, also couldn't believe his son was the aggressor:
"I'll be honest with you, I don't know what transpired, but I do know my kid, and he's not one to go out and bully or pick on anybody, he's never done that," he said. "I feel certain that he went to wash his car, and that's all he was doing was washing his car."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.