Stillwater man faces 27 charges in connection with hotel standoff

A 25-year-old Stillwater man has been charged this week following a standoff with police last week at the Red Roof Inn in Woodbury that resulted in one of the hostages trying to escape being shot and killed by officers.

Demetrius Santrell Ballinger was charged with 27 felony offenses that include second-degree attempted murder, four counts of rape involving juvenile females and aggravated robbery. Bail is set at $1 million for Ballinger, who has yet to enter a plea.

On Friday, Ballinger was at a party at the Woodbury hotel with 11 other people, six of them juveniles. According to the complaint, Ballinger became frustrated after reportedly being snubbed by a girl, pulled out a gun, and said, “Empty your pockets, give me your money and your cell phones,” and threatened to shoot everyone in the room.

The complaint addds that Woodbury police received a call around 1 a.m. from one of the female victims who had dialed 911 before throwing it into the pile of cell phones that Ballinger collected.

The complaint says offices responded to the call, announced themselves, then retreated to regroup after Ballinger pointed his gun at them. At that point, Mark Eric Henderson, 19, took the opportunity to flee the room.

It was reported that officers, thinking Henderson was the gunman, fatally shot him after he allegedly disobeyed their orders. The complaint reported that Henderson was fleeing because Ballinger shot at him.

The report said Ballinger then ordered the females in the hotel room to get into the bathroom and take off their clothes. He then allegedly raped four girls, three of them 16 and the other 15. According to the complaint, the male victims pleaded with Ballinger to stop the assaults but Ballinger refused to listen.

A SWAT team negotiated with Ballinger for more than four hours before Ballinger agreed to let the victims go and surrendered.

The three Woodbury officers who fired at Henderson have been placed on administrative leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

Ballinger’s next court appearance is at 9 a.m. Monday.

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