Normandale Community College assault suspect appears in court

Outfitted in jailhouse protective gear designed to keep him from hurting himself, Gavin Hutson made his first court appearance Friday afternoon.

The 21-year old is facing several counts of assault for an alleged violent outburst at Normandale Community College in Bloomington on Wednesday.

Hutson is accused of assaulting two faculty members. According to the criminal complaint, he knocked his female instructor unconscious. She suffered two broken bones in her face.

Authorities say police later recovered a loaded handgun and a second magazine with 10 rounds in his backpack.

According to court records, Hutson does not have a permit to carry and he had to be talked off the ledge of a parking ramp where he was threatening to kill himself after the attack.

“People should not be walking around with a firearm without a permit,” said Dan Homstad, Hutson’s defense attorney. “But I don’t know that we were looking at any type of school shooting or anything like that.”

“No one should carry a gun other than a police officer into a school. Period,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “If they do that, we will prosecute them.”

A judge set Hutson’s bail at $12,000 with conditions that include staying at least three blocks away from Normandale and surrendering any other firearms and ammunition.

Homstad argued in court for Hutson’s immediate release, describing a young man with no criminal history, a stable home and a job.

“I will say this about Mr. Hutson, I’ve known him and his family for many years and the allegations in the complaint are completely out of character for him,” said Homstad.

“This kind of rage, road rage or school rage is not acceptable,” said Freeman. “Certainly is unacceptable when guns are involved.”

In response to the incident, Normandale Community College released the following statement:

"The safety of Normandale Community College students, faculty and staff is our top priority. Normandale Community College has measures in place to evaluate campus safety to ensure the safety of our campus community. We review feedback from the campus community, the Bloomington Police Department and many other resources to inform our decisions, and we will continue to do so after Wednesday’s incident. 

"As a result of ongoing evaluations, Normandale Community College invested $1.6 million over the past three years in a campus-wide electronic door access system, a comprehensive emergency notification system, additional security cameras, and improved parking lot lighting."