Suspect, 39, is Prior Lake man
Attempted murder charges have been filed against a man accused of shooting at two Burnsville police officers while unleashing a barrage of gunfire from inside a house.
The officers were close enough to whizzing bullets to describe their distinct sounds and see leaves falling from trees where the bullets passed by.
The shots were fired Sept. 2 from inside a home on Sunny Acres Lane where a burglary had been reported, according to the criminal complaint.
After firing the shots, the alleged shooter, Ricardo Manuel Baldazo, jumped from a window with a handgun in each hand. He dropped the weapons when ordered by police.
The 39-year-old Prior Lake man was charged Sept. 4 with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault.
“This was an extremely dangerous situation that almost resulted in two officers being shot and could easily have harmed other officers and innocent bystanders as well,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a news release. “I am thankful that no one, including the defendant, was injured in this incident of gun violence. I wish to extend my best wishes to the officers who were almost shot as they recover from this terrifying experience.”
A 911 caller at the house said someone had broken in and was holding him at gunpoint. He then hung up.
Two detectives in an unmarked patrol car nearby were first to respond. They questioned an elderly woman on the front deck who “did not appear distressed” and said there had been no burglary, the complaint said. She said her son, Baldazo, was inside taking a nap.
A man then arrived and said his brother was “inside the residence, was high, and had guns with him.” Gunshots were heard shortly from inside.
Police set up a perimeter to observe exits from the house.
“Less than 10 minutes later, more gunshots could be heard coming from inside,” the complaint said. “Several of the officers on the scene were fearful for their own safety and well-being as well as the safety and well-being of their fellow officers, as they were within close range of where the bullets were coming from.”
One of the officers Baldazo is accused of shooting at was directly across the street. He described one of the shots as having the familiar high-pitched whistle of a bullet, followed by a “sharp clap noise and then a soft-thud as if a projectile had grazed or skipped off an object,” the complaint said.
He estimated the bullet passed within 10 to 20 feet of him. When a second bullet came through, the officer saw leaves falling from a tree.
The second officer, who after a first round of gunshots was told to position himself near the first officer to observe the front door, heard another shot come through and hit tree branches between the two officers, the complaint said.
Paramedics took Baldazo to the hospital, with officers riding in the ambulance.
“While being transported, the defendant stated that he was upset with police because he was the one that called for help,” the complaint said.
The woman said her son came had come over at around 4 a.m. because he got into a fight with his girlfriend. She said he seemed “completely normal” when she last spoke with him minutes before police arrived.
Inside the house police found numerous holes that looked like bullet holes, six spent casings and two live rounds, the complaint said.
The guns Baldazo was holding were a handgun with a live round in the chamber and additional bullets in the magazine and a revolver with all chambers loaded except one that contained a spent casing.
Baldazo also had an unloaded Glock pistol, the complaint said.
He made his first court appearance Sept. 4. Bail was set at $1 million without conditions and $750,000 with conditions. His next court appearance is Sept. 25 in Hastings.