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    Minnesota woman killed by co-worker in parking lot after rejecting his repeated romantic advances, police say

    A Minnesota woman was fatally shot outside of her workplace last week by a coworker after she denied his repeated romantic advances, police said.

    Nicole Hammond, 28, was found shot the morning of Oct. 24 in the parking lot of a business in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue Northeast in St. Cloud, about 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis, police said in a news release.

    The call to police came in just before 7 a.m., and authorities said “it appeared that the shooter had left the area prior to the arrival of police.” 

    Hammond was found laying on the ground of the parking lot with a pool of blood surrounding her head, the probable cause statement said.

    Officers attempted life saving measures on Hammond, but she died at the scene. According to the autopsy, Hammond was shot in the right side of her neck and the bullet was found in the left shoulder area.

    Police identified Michael Jordan Carpenter, 36, of St. Cloud, as the suspect. He was known to the victim and later charged with second-degree murder.

    In the investigation, police spoke with various coworkers who indicated that Carpenter had made numerous advances towards Hammond, “but his advances had been repeatedly rebuffed over the course of the past month,” the probable cause statement said.

    Coworkers also described the defendant as having a bad temper.

    A review of Hammond’s phone found numerous texts between her and Carpenter.

    The night prior to the shooting, Hammond indicated she “did not want to be touched by the defendant, nor did she want to be manipulated by him,” the probable cause statement said.

    “She also informed him to not make things uncomfortable at work,” the filing said.

    A search warrant executed on Carpenter’s vehicle found a 9mm pistol and a loaded magazine in a carrying case on the driver’s side rear seat with a round in the chamber. The style and brand of bullets matched the shell casing found next to Hammond at the scene, per the filing. 

    Carpenter was taken into custody at a residence in Sauk Rapids at 9:50 a.m. on Oct. 24 and brought into the police department for questioning. Police said a handgun was recovered in the arrest. 

    Carpenter told police that he had walked towards Hammond’s car that morning, heard a gunshot and saw a person attending to her, according to the probable cause statement. But police said in the statement he wouldn’t have been able to see someone helping her due to the lighting in the lot and vehicles blocking the line of sight.

    He said that he saw a lot of blood and was too traumatized so he left. He didn’t render aid, go to work or call 911, the statement said. He also told officers he was upset about the text conversation with Hammond. 

    Police say that Carpenter provided multiple contradictory statements, including that he was aware Hammond had not clocked into work despite he himself never going into the business or clocking in himself. 

    He was booked into Benton County Jail, where he remains, and was charged with second-degree felony murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail if convicted. 

    Lawyer information for Carpenter was not immediately available.

    This content was originally published here.

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