24-year-old St. Paul mom shot after interrupting a random burglary, suspect says

One of the two suspects charged in the death of 24-year-old Sarah Wierstad told police the St. Paul mom was shot after she interrupted a random burglary in progress at her home on Sunday night.

St. Paul police arrested Isiah Lee Harper, 25, of Minneapolis on Friday for his role in the burglary that led to Wierstad’s death. 

According to the criminal complaint, Harper told police he, 25-year-old Alvin Rudolph Bell and another man only referred to as A.B. randomly robbed the victim’s apartment at 671 Bedford Street around 8 p.m.

When Wierstad arrived home, the men told her to get on the ground and grabbed her purse. The men then ran towards their vehicle with the stolen goods.

Harper told police Wierstad followed them out of the apartment, despite the men telling her to stay on the ground until they left. He said he heard AB telling Wierstad to “stay back” and “stop following us” when the victim asked for her cell phone back because her five-year-old daughter was on the way home.

Harper said he heard AB fire four to five shots, before running back and getting into the vehicle.

When police arrived at the scene they found a witness with Wierstad, who was suffering from several gunshot wounds. She was taken to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Harper is being charged with first degree aggravated robbery and first degree burglary. Bell was also arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Harper said he just wanted to get some money and didn't think anyone would be killed.