MINNESOTA (NBC News) — A series of criminal events that began with a reported abduction and sexual assault in Maplewood, Minnesota Monday morning ended in an officer-involved shooting outside a home in Cottage Grove.
Lisa Patterson was one of the last people the suspect spoke with before he was shot by police.
“The picture I see is that gun in my face,” Patterson said Monday night. “I could see immediately that it was someone I did not know and that he had a gun.”
Shortly after the man kicked in her door, she says her own instincts kicked in.
“I think, in the moment, I’m like, what can I do to help you?” she said. “Whatever I can do to help you get out of here.”
And so, when he stopped yelling, Lisa says he asked for a glass of water. That’s when she saw an opportunity to talk.
“I said, ‘I’m afraid for my children upstairs.’ He said, ‘It’s okay. I’m a dad myself. And he said, ‘I just really need to think a minute. I think I’m going to die today,'” Lisa said. “It was crushing because I could see the agony on his face and just the… the conflict. He really did not know what he was going to do. He again pointed the gun at me, but… then pointed it at himself.”
At that point, Lisa could hear her husband, Craig Patterson, open his door and begin making his way downstairs.
“I handed him the glass of water and I said, ‘I can hear my husband coming, please don’t do anything. Let me tell him what’s going on,'” Lisa said.
Craig says he heard the commotion from the top of the stairs, so he identified himself and slowly made his way down.
“The gunman said, ‘I want to see your hands,'” Craig said. “So I stuck my hands out around the rail, to show him my hands and I slowly put my head out and moved my body into his view. He had the gun pointed at me with both hands, and he said to me, ‘Do you have a safe room in your house or a study?’”
Instead, the couple offered their garage, and when the man made his way to it, they acted quickly.
The couple escaped with their daughters just in time, and Craig says he has his wife to thank.
“I think she really did an amazing job and if it wasn’t for her I might not be alive,” he said. “She was very calm.”
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