Beverly Cory, an Edward Jones financial adviser, was randomly shot to death in her Mendota Heights, Minnesota office building, and police believe the gunman was fleeing a robbery.
Cory, who didn’t know the suspect, was beloved among her investment clients and in the LGBT community, where she worked for a more inclusive community.
In a case update on July 30, Mendota Heights, Minnesota police confirmed that the victim of the Mendota Heights homicide was Cory, 47. The suspect was identified as Lucifer Vincent Nguyen, 44. He stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Police said there was “no known previous connection between the suspect, Lucifer Nguyen, and the victim.” You can read the criminal complaint here.
Shortly after midnight on August 1, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Department announced that Nguyen had been captured.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cory Was Found Shot to Death in an Office Building
Cory’s death was the tragic culmination in what police say was a crime spree that started with a robbery, and the suspect is still on the loose.
According to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Cory was murdered “inside an office building on a commercial plaza near Hwy. 110 and Interstate 35.”
The spree “began with a man being robbed at gunpoint Saturday morning (July 29) on Delaware Avenue, not far from where the shooting occurred,” the newspaper reported. “Police soon began pursuing the robber, who sped away in a car and crashed it into a swamp in nearby Friendly Marsh Park. From there, he ran into the White Pine Senior Living center with his gun drawn.”
Not long after, police learned that Cory had been killed inside her office building, which was located across the street from White Pine, according to the Star-Tribune.
The complaint alleges that Nguyen allegedly “knocked on her door inquiring if this was the ‘Miller’ residence.” He initially left, but returned and entered the bedroom where she was with her grandchild, “pulled out a handgun and demanded cash.” He allegedly took money and left the home; police spotted his car and a chase ensued, culminating in the suspect vehicle crashing into a pond, Patch reported.
A few minutes later, an employee at the senior care center told police “a male with a gun, who she later identified as Nguyen, forced her into a laundry room and took her work keys, according to police,” Patch reported. According to Patch, police started evacuating the center, but then saw “blood seeping underneath a door in a suite in an adjacent office building” and found Cory deceased “on the floor inside the suite.”
The scene was chaotic and frightening.
Police said on Facebook that detectives from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mendota Heights Police Department were “working on several leads” but that the suspect, who also has ties to Wisconsin, may have already left the area.
They asked people with information on the suspect to call the Dakota County Sheriff’s office at 651-322-2323.
2. Cory, a Member of the LGBT Community, Was Survived By Her Wife, Kim
Lavender Magazine joined those in posting tributes to Cory, describing her as “one of the kindest people you’ve ever met.” She is survived by her wife, Kim, the magazine reports.
“On behalf of everyone at Lavender Magazine, we send our condolences to the family and friends of Beverly Cory, the victim of a shooting yesterday in Mendota Heights. Beverly was a financial advisor for Edward Jones, and a member of Quorum, the GLBT Chamber of Commerce. She was also one of the kindest people you’ve ever met. We join the community in grieving for Beverly, and our thoughts are with her wife, Kim, and Beverly’s family and friends. The world is a little less bright with her passing.
A friend wrote on the comment thread, “I am saddened with this news. My life has been bettered by knowing her. Our world is a little darker without her in it.” Another wrote, “Beverly Cory and her unforgettable smile had a way of brightening a room as she walked in. The World is a dimmer place without her.”
Cory was also a member of Quorum, a non-profit organization dedicated toward building a more inclusive community by championing the business argument for it. “Today, it is with a very heavy heart, that we send our our prayers and love to Beverly Cory’s wife Kim and her family and friends. Taken entirely too soon by a senseless tragedy, we mourn the loss of a colleague and friend,” the organization wrote on Facebook.
“A financial advisor with Edward Jones, a past Quorum board member, and a longtime Quorum member, Beverly represented the very best of the Quorum values of building, strengthening and connecting the LGBT and Allied business community. We have lost a true friend and strong community mentor. The world indeed shines a little less brightly today for this tragic loss.”
3. Police Were Moved By the ‘Caring’ & ‘Resilient’ Nature of Cory’s Family
Mendota Heights police were moved after meeting Cory’s family and friends during the search for Nguyen.
“Update. Suspect still at large. On a personal note, we didn’t know the victim but we did speak with her family and friends. If she was half as amazing, caring, and resilient as they are, the world lost an amazing soul,” police wrote on Facebook on July 30.
4. Cory Was an Edward Jones Financial Adviser for More Than 14 Years
Cory worked for Edward Jones since 2003, according to her LinkedIn page. She had a master’s degree from St. Catherine University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science.
“We’re shocked and saddened by the news that one of our financial advisors, Bev Cory, was senselessly killed Saturday morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this tragic time. Naturally, we are cooperating with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation to apprehend her killer,” the company said in a statement.
Customers also remembered Cory fondly.
“She’s always telling us to save more money for retirement, and we always make fun of that, but she was right, of course,” Pat Ballard, one of Cory’s clients, told KARE11. “Maybe we’ll try harder now that Beverly’s not here.”
5. Nguyen Has a Criminal History in Minnesota & Wisconsin, Where He Was Accused of Methamphetamine Dealing
Lucifer Nguyen is no stranger to the criminal justice system.
In Minnesota, he has convictions for “misdemeanor theft, careless driving and drunken driving,” The Star Tribune reports.
In neighboring Wisconsin, Nguyen has an open felony case for battery by prisoners in Douglas County. He was due to appear in court for an arraignment on August 18. Nguyen’s address was given as New Hope, Minnesota in that case.
He forfeited bail in that case twice, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but it was canceled on July 24, court records show.
He has a second open felony case in Wisconsin on accusations of possession with intent to deliver amphetamine and “Possess Drug Paraphernalia to Manufacture, Compound, Convert, Produce, or Store Methamphetamine.”
He was cited in Wisconsin in April 2017 for hit and run of an unattended vehicle.