Charges: Cottage Grove teacher David Frigaard killed by Bailey Garcia in drive-by

Today, Bailey Garcia was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of beloved Cottage Grove teacher David Frigaard.

According to the charges, Garcia, 19, killed Frigaard, 46, in a drive-by shooting perpetrated around 3:15 a.m. Saturday in an area of Mahtomedi not far from the Willernie bar Frigaard owned, Frigaard's.

The complaint says Garcia was found inside a crashed SUV near the area of Mahtomedi Ave. and Maple St. by deputies following up on a report of suspicious activity. His license plates were covered with what appeared to be white paper towel.

A witness who peered inside the crashed SUV reported seeing a rifle and ammunition in the front passenger seat.

A deputy arriving on the scene found a man later identified as Garcia inside the SUV, and reported he smelled like booze. Inside the vehicle the deputy found a spent shell casing along with a quarter-full bottle of Captain Morgan's Rum.

After leaving the crash scene, a deputy came across another vehicle running in the area of Stillwater Blvd. and Highway 244. A bullet hole was seen on the passenger side, and inside the vehicle was a man later identified as Frigaard, slumped over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A preliminary autopsy indicates Frigaard died as a result of a gunshot wound to his thorax.

Under subsequent questioning, Garcia told investigators he had gotten into a heated argument with his dad earlier in the evening. He went to his room, but later grabbed his gun, ammunition, and some rum and made off for the Mahtomedi Fire Department.

"The defendant initially admitted shooting a 'few deer' that were located near the intersection of Stillwater Road and Mahtomedi Ave.," the complaint says. "The defendant then admitted that he was aiming at a truck that he saw at the intersection. The defendant admitted that he aimed his rifle out of his driver's side window at the truck and shot."

"The defendant admitted that after the shot went off he got scared and fled the area," the complaint continues. "The defendant said he got scared because he did not know if he hit the driver. [Frigaard's] vehicle was found in the area where the defendant admitted shooting his rifle at a truck."

Though the Star Tribune reports that witnesses say they saw Frigaard "refuse to serve an underage man and later ask the man to leave" in his bar on Friday night -- the implication is that the "underage man" is Garcia -- the complaint doesn't contain any information about a possible motive for the murder.

Asked about what investigators know about what happened in the bar, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput says "none of [the Strib's information] is confirmed."

"We're looking real hard to uncover any motive beyond what we have so far," Orput continues. "If our ongoing investigation uncovered a motive we would take that into consideration by amending the charges to reflect more accurately what happened."

Orput says prosecutors were faced with the choice of either charging Garcia today or releasing him from custody.

"The worst part is that nothing freaks out people more than a random crime," Orput adds. "We don't have more of a motive other than some guy decided it was a good time to shoot into a truck, but in the meantime we got him charged and the public is safe."

In a statement released to the media, Orput is quoted as saying, "Our thoughts go out to the family of the victim of this totally senseless crime. We will use every resource in our power to bring this defendant to justice."

Garcia's bail has been set at $2 million, and his next court date is scheduled for February 5.

If you'd like to read the criminal complaint for yourself, click here.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories