Joshua Michael Martin, the 21-year-old charged today in connection with the shooting death of Maplewood police Sgt. Joseph Bergeron Saturday morning, lives in St. Paul -- with his mother.
"He's a very good boy," his mother told the Star Tribune.
The upstanding citizen got out of prison in St. Cloud seven weeks ago after serving 27 months on an aggravated robbery conviction. He was on supervised release when he and another guy named Jason John Jones, 21, were allegedly involved in an early-morning carjacking at a gas station near Larpenteur Avenue at I-35E.
Both of them pulled out guns and told the victim to drive away. According to police, the driver then fooled them into thinking he was taking them to his home, where he had money. When they pulled up to a house in Maplewood, the carjacking victim bailed out and ran away.
So did Martin and Jones.
What happened next was described by police as an ambush.
Acting on a tip, the 49-year-old Bergeron was getting out his squad car on Bruce Vento Trail near Arlingon in the Lake Phalen area to speak to the two suspects in the carjacking when one of them stepped forward and gunned him down.
The two fled, and pretty soon the neighborhood looked like a Baghdad suburb, choppers in the sky, heavy armor and a lot of cops in full battle rattle on the ground on high alert.
One of those cops was St. Paul officer David Longbehn.
Longbehn had spotted Jones near Ivy and Prosperity avenues after seeing him walk out of some woods, talking loudly on his cell phone and carrying a tool box. Longbehn stooped Jones and starting frisking him when the two got into a vicious brawl; at one point Jones slugged Longbehn in the face over and over with a large metal bolt wrapped in a piece of cloth, breaking a bunch of his facial bones.
But somehow in the chaos, Longbehn was able to reach his pistol and unload a few rounds into Jones, who collapsed dead in the street.
Longbehn was then rushed to the hospital.
That left Martin, who the cops eventually traced to a home on Duluth Street. They took him into custody at about 1:30 p.m. after he failed in an attempt to kill himself.
Martin was formally charged today with second-degree intentional murder in Bergeron's death, and with kidnapping for his role in the carjacking. It's not clear right now whether it was Martin or Jones who pulled the trigger in Bergeron's death.
"With the filing of charges, we have taken a first step toward holding the defendant in this case accountable for a horrific crime. The enormity of this tragedy cannot be overstated," said Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner in statement.
Martin is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon.