Charges: St. Paul man walked into jail to tell officers he shot wife

The man now charged with murder in his wife's shooting walked into jail in St. Paul to admit to the crime, the criminal complaint details.

Johnny Ray Aldridge, 46, is now charged with murder in the second degree for the shooting of his wife, 41-year-old Caitlin Aldridge.

Officers say, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 28, Johnny Aldridge walked into the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center and told police he had shot his wife in the head at 36 Winnipeg Avenue in St. Paul. After the report, police went to the home and found Caitlin Aldridge's body along with her 13-year-old daughter still in the home, unaware her mother had been killed.

Investigators say that when they asked him why he shot his wife, Johnny Aldridge expressed concerns about his daughter's well-being, claiming she'd been assaulted by men in the neighborhood.

However, when speaking to the girl, police say the daughter showed no signs of abuse and denied her father's claims. She was taken to the Midwest Children's Resource Center for a follow-up interview and again denied the claims.

According to the charges, the girl did say her father had struggled with his mental health in recent months, including post-traumatic stress disorder, which began after he was shot in the hand over the summer. Since that time, the daughter told police Johnny Aldridge had trouble staying at home, leaving twice over the summer, and was also prone to mood swings and was "hard" on the victim. He had also been carrying a gun out of fear, the girl told investigators.

Police say Johnny Aldridge initially asked for an attorney, bringing the interview to an end. But, later on, he knocked on the door and said he changed his mind and wanted to talk.

After being read his rights again, police say Johnny Aldridge again raised concerns over his daughter's well-being in relation to his wife, repeating the claims he made earlier, that police had been unable to substantiate.

On the night of the shooting, police say Johnny Aldridge told investigators that he had gotten into an argument with Caitlin over his daughter and became enraged when his wife laughed off one of his claims and ultimately shot her in the head. 

Recent domestic homicides

This marked the second domestic murder in two days in the Twin Cities, after Bloomington Police found a woman’s body in a dumpster Monday morning. Police said a man who was in a relationship with the woman was arrested in connection to her death.

These murders come shortly before the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Shelley Johnson Cline is Executive Director of the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, one of dozens of places in Minnesota where abused women can turn for help.

"They will be treated kindly. They will be believed, and we are there to help them," Johnson Cline said.

A statewide hotline at 651-645-2824 connects victims with a compatible program.

Johnson Cline said the biggest reason women are afraid to leave abusers is that they fear retribution, which in turn keeps them in danger.

"Advocates are out there to help them…it’s confidential, nobody’s going to share their story with anyone without their permission and they will be believed and treated kindly," she said.

"If there’s anyone out there who is hurting, who is in an abusive relationship, please call for help because help is available," Linders said.