Woman shot by ex-husband while at work in North St. Paul

A shooting took place Nov. 23 at Anchor Mold and Tool Co. in North St. Paul.

Man charged with attempted murder

On Nov. 30, Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged John Bruce Steurer with one count of second-degree attempted murder for allegedly shooting his ex-wife with a shotgun at her work in North St. Paul on Nov. 23. The attempted murder charge is classified as “with intent,” but “not premeditated.”

Steurer, 47, of St. Francis, Minnesota, had been married to his 45-year-old ex-wife for 23 years before their divorce was finalized Nov. 9. Now Steurer faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.

“We are relieved that the victim in this case survived a terrifying attempt on her life this past week at the hands of her ex-spouse,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “If anyone in our community feels they are in immediate danger due to an abusive relationship, please dial 911. For a list of resources in Ramsey County, including shelters and crisis hotlines, please see our Ramsey County website.” 

According to the criminal complaint, at around 2:20 p.m. on Nov. 23 Steurer found his ex-wife in her office at Anchor Mold and Tool Company, located in the 2200 block of Second Street in North St. Paul. Due to Thanksgiving, the woman and one other co-worker were the only two employees left in the building after 2 p.m.

When the woman later recalled the encounter for a police officer, she said when Steurer walked into her office he was carrying a shotgun and asked her if she had any last words. She admitted to the officer that she was initially confused and had not understood that her ex-husband was there to kill her until he repeated his request for her last words.

The woman said that when she realized her ex-husband’s intentions she pushed him out of the doorway and tried to run past him, but he grabbed her and tried to pull her back into the office. As she struggled to get free she yelled for the other employee to call 911.

Despite the loud machine on which the employee was working, he reportedly heard his co-worker yell “Call 911!”, so he turned and saw her struggling to get away from Steurer, who was holding her from behind. The criminal complaint states the employee turned to flee when he heard the woman again scream for him to call 911.

The woman was reportedly able to break free, and she started to run down the stairs from her office, but Steurer chased after her. When she was about three-quarters of the way down the stairs, Steurer allegedly shot her, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman reportedly told police she heard the gunshot and felt like she got punched really hard in her back and left arm. The gunshot caused her to fall down the rest of the stairs, and when she looked up, Steurer had the gun pointed down at her.

At this point the woman’s coworker allegedly thought he would be shot for witnessing the incident, so he fled the building. Once outside he ran into coworkers and called 911 on one of their phones.

The criminal complaint states that Steurer tried to pump the shotgun for another shot, but it didn’t work properly. The woman begged her ex-husband to stop, but she told police she realized he wasn’t going to stop, so she fled through a door, shut it behind her and tried to keep it shut by bracing her body against it.

Steurer was able to open the door enough to get the shotgun through the crack, and he allegedly tried to point it at his ex-wife. 

The woman ran out a door leading to a loading dock area outside. Once outside Steurer allegedly knocked her to the ground. She fell on her back and struggled with Steurer for the gun, the criminal complaint states, adding she may have been able to engage the shotgun’s safety during the struggle.

Steurer allegedly continued to try to point the shotgun at his ex-wife, but when he realized it wouldn’t fire, he started punching her. He also allegedly pulled her hair, hit her head on the loading dock floor, and struck her head with the butt of the gun while yelling that she made a big mistake.

The criminal complaint states the woman managed to break free, run back into the building and lock the door behind her. At that time she reportedly realized her coworker was no longer there, so she called 911 and tried to remain conscious until police arrived.

After North St. Paul Police arrived, the woman was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where she was treated for a collapsed lung, an injury to her small intestine and other injuries caused by the shotgun blast.

Steurer had fled the scene in a vehicle before police arrived, but sometime after the incident, Steurer’s mother contacted police with news that her son had called her, told her what he had done, and shared his plans for suicide after police find him. She also reportedly refused to give him the keys to the family’s fish house located in northern Minnesota.

According to the criminal complaint, Steurer called his ex-wife several hours after the incident and left a voicemail. He said, “I am sorry I had to do that to you. I can’t have you being with another guy, so that’s what I had to do. Bye.”

Later that day, Steurer’s vehicle was spotted parked at an activity center building at Bunker Hills Regional Park in Coon Rapids.

Police reportedly caught up with Steurer around 5:30 p.m. and in the course of a 30-minute standoff, he attempted to flee in his vehicle with his gun pointed at police, rammed a police vehicle and allegedly shot himself multiple times before he was taken into custody by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department.

Due to several self-inflicted gunshot wounds, including one in the head, Steurer was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment.

Steurer’s bail is set at $1 million and his first court appearance will be Dec. 8.1.

For the Ramsey County webpage on domestic abuse go to www.ramseycounty.us/residents/assistance-support/intervention-protection....

Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com.


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