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.
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.