INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MN – On Wednesday, police arrested Gabriel Alfonso Sanchez-Cruz, 42, after discovering the body of 38-year-old Bryant Jon Lutgens in a snowbank in the1300 block of 60th Street West, earlier in the week.
The victim died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
A witness came forward on Wednesday and told police Lutgens had dropped her off at Cruz's apartment in Richfield the night before he died at around 9 p.m. The witness told police that Cruz wasn't home at the time but she had permission to enter his apartment, and Cruz asked her if Lutgens had any methamphetamine, to which she replied she thought so. Cruz then spoke to Lutgens over the phone. The last time she saw Lutgens was around 10 p.m., the witness said.
The witness also noted that Cruz came back to the apartment at around 11:45 p.m. that night with another person. She told police Cruz was acting "off" and was talking fast. The complaint states Cruz told the witness that he'd met up with Lutgens, pulled out a gun to rob him and, when he struggled and fell into the snowbank, Cruz walked up to him, shot him and took his belongings.
Two days after finding Lutgens remains, officers spotted his stolen vehicle and a pursuit ensued. The car eventually crashed and the driver, identified as Sanchez-Cruz tried to flee, according to a police report.
A 9mm handgun was also recovered, which was later determined to be the same one that killed Lutgens.
Sanchez-Cruz has been charged with second-degree murder, and is currently being held on $2 million bail at the Dakota County Jail.
He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on February 26.