Thomas Sonnenberg rushed to his back door Friday afternoon. The 69-year-old Minneapolis resident had heard a stranger shouting, “Let me in! Somebody’s going to kill me!”
Sonnenberg, known as a good neighborhood samaritan, obliged, welcomed the stranger into his home, locked the door and dialed 911 to the man’s behest, according to the Star Tribune.
Moments later, the Army veteran was reportedly lying on the floor with a bullet to his head.
The man Sonnenberg had so kindly ushered into his home was now attacking his defenseless 68-year-old wife, the Star Tribune reported.
Police reportedly arrived just in time to stop the assault, but medics were unable to save Sonnenberg, who ultimately died of the gunshot wound.
Devon Derrick Parker was arrested on suspicion of murder, according to the Star Tribune. The 20-year-old, a felon who reportedly has a violent history, is awaiting formal charges while in the Hennepin County jail.
“After the 911 call was made, he shot my dad in the head,’’ Rachel Baufield, one of Sonnenberg’s three daughters, told the Star Tribune.
According to Baufield, police were able to apprehend Parker because he was trapped, unable to figure out which key unlocked the home’s deadbolt locks.
“She came to see what had happened and watched him get shot,” Baufield reportedly said. “And then it escalated from there when (the suspect) couldn’t get out. He threw keys. He threw whatever he could find at her. And then he threw her around.”
“[H]e went on a rage because he was locked in the house, and threw stuff at my mother and assaulted my mother,” Baufield continued. ”He couldn’t get out of the house to get away.”
“He drug her upstairs to her bedroom with the gun to her forehead, placing the gun in the same spot on her head as where he’d shot my father, between his eyes,” she added.
Police ultimately arrived at the scene, broke into the residence and arrested Parker.
On Saturday, Elaine was being treated for attempted strangulation and recovering at a family member’s home, the Star Tribune reported. Baufield reportedly said that she is “holding on,” but will not be returning to the house.
The rest of the family is mourning their loss.
“He’s been our rock, so this is very difficult for all of us,” Baufield reportedly said.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter