Family, friends mourn loss of 23-year-old law clerk killed in St. Paul

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Family and loved ones are mourning the loss of 23-year-old law clerk Chase Passauer who was shot while sitting at his desk at a St. Paul law firm Thursday.

“He'd be doing fifty other things and he'd drop them all just to give the shirt off his back,” best friend Josh Fox said. “He must have read every encyclopedia as a kid, because I don't know how he could have obtained that much knowledge by the age of 23."

St. Paul police were called to the 300 block of Selby Avenue around 4 p.m. when officers found the law clerk in his chair with six gunshot wounds, in his second-floor office above W.A. Frost.

According to court documents, Ryan David Petersen, 37, was a disgruntled client of the North Star Criminal Defense law firm and unhappy about his representation. Attorney Daniel Adkins just started representing him in a case in which Petersen was accused of punching a Woodbury police officer who was arresting him for DWI.

On April 7, Petersen fired the attorney via text message and demanded his money back. Petersen expressed a belief that Adkins was ignoring his messages, but Adkins was in court at the time of the messages and could not respond.

Passauer lived in Hastings and hoped to attend the University of Minnesota Law School.

“Oh, he could litigate,” his friends said. “Yeah, he could go for hours on any topic, didn't matter what it was.”

Petersen was arrested Thursday night in Stillwater after an 11-mile chase that started in Chisago County. He is scheduled for his first court appearance on Monday afternoon.

A gofundme page has been set up for Chase. To help, click here.