Updated: Suspect in Woodbury Red Roof Inn Hostage Case Faces Attempted Murder, Rape Charges

The criminal complaint says Demetrius Santrell Ballinger tried to shoot the man who was eventually shot by police, and he sexually assaulted four juvenile females.

A Stillwater man accused of sparking a hostage situation at the Woodbury Red Roof Inn that left one man dead after being shot by police has been charged with 27 felonies, including attempted murder and rape.

Demetrius Santrell Ballinger, 24, is accused of shooting at the man who fled the room and was eventually shot by police, and raping four juvenile females during the Aug. 31 incident.



Bail was set at $1 million.

According to the criminal complaint and previous statements from authorities:

There were 12 people, including Ballinger, in room 217 at the when he became frustrated and brandished a 9-mm handgun. (Six of the people there were juveniles.)

He ordered them to give up their money and cell phones, and one person dialed 911 before tossing it into a pile with the rest of the phones.

Police arrived just after 1 a.m. and saw a man, later identified as Ballinger, point a gun at one of the officers. They regrouped, and a short time later a man ran out of the door and Ballinger shot at him. He told investigators he fired the weapon “to hit him.”

The man who fled, Mark Eric Henderson, 19, of St. Paul, did not comply with police commands and was shot by officers, according to a preliminary Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation. Henderson later died at Regions Hospital as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. No weapon was recovered from him.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. The BCA investigation into the police shooting is ongoing.

After the shooting, Ballinger ordered the women in the motel room to go into the bathroom and take their clothes off. He then sexually assaulted four of the females while holding the 9-mm pistol in his hand.

The men being held hostage pleaded with Ballinger to stop, but he said he was going to jail anyway, so he “might as well get some.”

The Washington County SWAT team arrived and talked to Ballinger over a four-hour period, and he eventually released the hostages and was arrested.

In later interviews with police, Ballinger admitted to trying to shoot Henderson, sexually assaulting four females, holding those who were there against their will and taking their property.

Ballinger also faces several aggravated robbery and assault charges.


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Church September 05, 2012 at 01:12 AM
So, did the Woodbury Police shoot an unarmed hostage, technically? That's also a troubling aspect of this case that's kind of being overlooked.
Laura ME September 05, 2012 at 12:52 PM
The Red Roof Inn should be shut down immediately. It has been nothing but an eyesore and a source of trouble and criminal activity for years!
Kris Janisch September 05, 2012 at 01:30 PM
That was more the focus of a previous piece Shawn.
Rebecca September 05, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Kris - have you thought about contacting the Mayor, etc. for their thoughts on the Red Roof Inn? They can't comment on the case but they should be able to talk about on-going problems at the Inn. Plus, it's a huge pull on Woodbury's police resources, our tax dollars are paying for the police to report to how many calls since January? 130 to that one location? Thanks!
Kris Janisch September 05, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Rebecca, I put the word out yesterday and hope to hear back today.
Joe September 05, 2012 at 09:13 PM
No, not really. You'd have done the same thing in that situation.
Dick Broom September 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
No, not really. You'd have done the same thing in that situation.


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