Minneapolis police won’t reopen 2004 flower shop murder after exoneration

The Minneapolis Police Department will not reopen a murder case they thought was solved two decades ago.

Randy Sherer was gunned down inside his family’s flower shop in May 2004. 

Marvin Haynes was convicted in the case, but Haynes was exonerated late last year because of unconstitutional police work. 

Immediately following the exoneration, MPD said it would review the case for possible next steps – looking at the availability of potential witnesses and the status of any evidence.

But in a statement to FOX 9 this week, the department now says the case will remain closed "pending any new information or leads."

"They need to find the person that did that," Ryan Donley, Sherer’s great nephew told FOX 9’s Paul Blume. "If there is no justice for Randy, then obviously, now it is looking like there was no justice for Marvin, you know? So, it is sad for both families, to be honest."

Donley spoke to Blume at his metro-area home while flipping through a weathered scrapbook holding some of his most cherished memories from his family’s, long-time, Minneapolis business, Jerry’s Flower Shop.

"He is one of the nicest guys on the northside from what I hear from everybody," Donley said while pointing at photos of his great uncle. "And that is when he was shot, walking up to the front, trying to protect his sister at the time."

Sadly for Donley and the rest of his family, Jerry’s Flower Shop closed after Sherer was shot to death while working there with his sister on Sunday morning, May 16, 2004.

"I just recall getting a phone call from my mom," remembered Donley. "Everybody was crying and tears. And they said that my uncle got shot."

Like nearly everyone in his family, Donley worked at Jerry’s.

Donley said, "My aunt, my uncles, all the nephews and cousins, we all worked there. We all sold flowers on the corner of north Minneapolis every holiday."

Donley, who was in his late teens at the time of the murder, was a pallbearer at Sherer’s funeral. He has fond memories of his great uncle.

"Every time I go up to visit, you know, he would give me a dollar out of his pocket, give me change out of his pocket. He was always nice to me," said Donley.

Two decades later, Donley watched Haynes, the convicted gunman, walk out of prison in December after Haynes was exonerated by the courts, his life-sentence vacated.

"It brings back memories, and frustrations, and anger," admitted Donley.

Haynes was just 16 years old when he was arrested. Investigators never had any DNA evidence, fingerprints, surveillance images or murder weapon connecting Haynes to the deadly shooting. 

"Everybody wanted justice," recalled Donley. "At the time, I thought it was a set case, you know, and then turned out like it is not a set case all this time later.

Donley was disappointed to hear this week MPD will not re-open the case following an investigative review. 

He told Blume that he remains hopeful someone out there might talk or know something to provide a definitive answer as to what happened in his family’s flower shop 20 years ago.