John Rieple, the owner of Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry, a store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been booked on a murder accusation after a man was found dead of a gunshot wound on a sidewalk near Rieple’s business, according to Hennepin County jail records.
The shooting came amidst a night of major unrest in Minneapolis following the Monday death of George Floyd after a police officer restrained Floyd with a knee pressed to his neck. Anger over Floyd’s death spilled into the streets, as people looted and torched businesses. Videos showed heavy looting at Rieple’s store. A graphic video, which you can watch later in this article, shows the shooting aftermath outside Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry, but be aware that it’s very disturbing. In that video, bystanders claim someone was “shooting from the pawn shop,” which police haven’t confirmed.
The man who was shot has now been identified as Calvin L. Horton Jr., 43, of Minneapolis.
Chuck Laszewski, the Hennepin County Attorney’s spokesman, told Heavy in a phone interview that the office got an extension to hold Rieple in the jail longer, until noon on June 1, but they released him from custody when that deadline hit.
“We looked at it, and we’ve decided to defer any charging decision pending further investigation by the police,” Laszewski told Heavy on June 1. He said that Rieple should be “out now.”
Asked what further investigation is needed, he said there are a “few facts they needed to have cleared up, so we sent it back to the cops,” but he declined to specify what they were.
Asked whether it was true that Rieple allegedly thought the man he shot was a suspected looter, the county attorney spokesman declined to say.
He said authorities have 90 days to make the charging decision.
In a separate case involving a businessman in Omaha, Nebraska, a bar owner named Jake Gardner, who witnesses say shot and killed a young black man outside of his business May 31 as protests raged, is not being charged criminally. He fired in self defense, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said at a press conference.
Rieple’s arrest came after Libor Jany, a journalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reported, via a police source, that Rieple had shot and killed a suspected looter at his business. Police confirmed in their first press conference on the shooting that they were investigating the theory that the owner of the Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry store shot a suspected looter, but they said they were also investigating other theories they wouldn’t describe. Police spokesman John Elder confirmed at midnight that one person was in custody and one person was dead but named neither.
On June 1, Heavy reached out to Elder for more details but has not yet receied a response. Rieple was still sitting in the Hennepin County Jail as of the morning of June 1, according to jail records.
Elder also said he believes Minnesota’s “duty to retreat” law means a businessowner doesn’t have a right to defend their property with lethal force because it’s not their home. You can read more about the duty to retreat law here.
Records obtained by Heavy show that John Richard Rieple, 59, of Galesville, Wisconsin, is being held in the Hennepin County jail. Heavy confirmed through corporate records and social media that he owns Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry, which videos show was looted during the night of May 27. The jail records show he was booked on a “murder” accusation at 1:56 a.m. on May 28 after being arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department. The reason given for his arrest was listed as “probable cause.” He’s being held without bail. Prosecutors will make the determination on whether he will face criminal prosecution. Heavy contacted the police spokesman on May 28 and asked if there was an update. “We have not released the name John Rieple so I cannot comment on it,” he responded.
The unrest sparked after a viral video showed a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, restraining Floyd with a knee to his neck despite bystanders’ repeated pleas that Floyd was in distress. Floyd, who repeatedly says in the video that he can’t breathe, died a short time later. Four officers were fired, but it didn’t quell the unrest, which grew throughout the night of May 27. See photos of some of the damaged and looted businesses here.
Rieple identifies himself as the store’s owner on LinkedIn. Heavy reached out to Rieple’s relative, who also works at the store, for comment and will add comment into this story if it’s received.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Police Spokesman Said the Man Was Found Shot & in Grave Condition on the Sidewalk Near Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry
In the first police press conference, Elder, the public information officer for Minneapolis police, said that a body was found outside the pawn shop around 9:25 p.m. There was a report of a possible stabbing victim. Police then located an adult male in grave condition lying on the sidewalk. Officers immediately began first aid, including CPR.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and assisted. Paramedics got through the crowd and transported the adult male to a hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. The wound was later determined to be a gunshot wound. “At this time, the scene is just finishing being processed by our crime lab and our homicide investigators,” Elder said. The nature and cause of death will be released later, along with the identity of the victim.
One person, who was not identified, is in custody at this time, Elder said at midnight. The facts of what led up to the shooting are still being sorted out. Two officers arrived and one performed CPR immediately. “This was close to the area of the protests,” said Elder.
Elder called the death a “homicide.” You can watch the police press conference here. It occurred around midnight.
A reporter asked Elder if it was true that “the victim was someone who was looting the Cadillac Pawn shop and the store owner was racing in and took action” and Elder responded, “That is one of the theories we’re looking into.”
Elder responded that police are investigating multiple theories about what happened to the man. “The body was found outside” and there are “a couple of different scenarios that what may have happened. That’s being investigated,” he said. “We want to make sure that we do in fact have all of the facts moving forward. We don’t want to cast aspersions on somebody if in fact they weren’t doing anything wrong.” He declined to spell out the different theories.
Star Tribune reporter Jany cited a police source: “Police are investigating a homicide. They say the owner of a nearby pawn shop shot and killed a person suspected of looting his building.” He added, “It reportedly happened at Cadillac Pawn. Still awaiting details. This, from a source within the department.”
2. Rieple Has Roots in Wisconsin & Was Trained as a Coast Guard Certified Captain Who Once Saved People From a Houseboat Accident on the Mississippi River
Rieple’s Facebook page says he studied at Winona State University, went to Holmen High School, lives in Galesville, Wisconsin, is from Trempealeau, Wisconsin, and is married. His top post on Facebook is a commercial for the Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry store.
The pawn shop is listed under Third Financial Corporation in Minnesota corporate records with John Rieple listed as the registered agent.
The address given in the record is for the store. The corporation was founded in 1990 and is in good standing.
He also has a registered corporation in Wisconsin called Best Dam Fishing Float, LLC. A website for that company says, “In the winter of 2010, brothers John and Tom Rieple, purchased the historic fishing float below Dresback lock and dam #7 near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Through past years of fishing the Mississippi river we knew the location of the fishing float was an incredible fishery. However, we both realized that to bring a quality experience to our customers, the historic fishing float would need to be rebuilt.”
It continues, “Next, John and Tom went through over 100 hours each of training to become Coast Guard certified captains as well as CPR and first aid certified.”
In 2013, John Rieple helped save people when a houseboat tipped over on the Mississippi River. “John Rieple, captain of the Best Dam Fishing Float, was shuttling some customers back from his fishing boat when he noticed debris coming from the dam. He rescued five of the victims when he found them clinging to a lifeboat nearby,” WCF Courier reported, quoting Rieple as saying, “This river is a lot stronger than people think. We’re glad they’re all safe and alive.”
Rieple’s mother was born in Rhode Island and was deeply involved in schools and the Lutheran Church in Holmen, Wisconsin, according to her obituary. It says that Rieple and his wife have two children, a son and a daughter.
3. A Very Graphic Video Circulated Showing the Aftermath of the Shooting & Other Videos Showed Rieple’s Store Being Looted After His Arrest
A very graphic video circulated on social media that appears to show the aftermath outside Cadillac Pawn. Be forewarned that it contains disturbing and graphic images, as you can see a person’s body lying on the sidewalk. Some reports claimed that two people were shot at the pawn store, but police only described one shot person.
In addition, videos circulated showing that people broke into and looted the Cadillac Pawn & Jewelry store after Rieple’s arrest.
The graphic video shows a police officer performing chest compressions on a person lying on the sidewalk as crowds gather around. “There’s somebody in there with a rifle. Back off,” an officer tells the crowd gathered on the sidewalk at one point in the video. Three officers carry the wounded man through the streets, with one saying they’re getting to an ambulance. They stop in the middle of the street to do more chest compressions.
“Somebody’s shooting from the pawn shop,” a bystander claims in the video.
4. The Store Sells ‘Bubble Letter Charms’ & Other Jewelry, Including to the Hip Hop Market
A 2018 post on the store’s Facebook page reads, “Bubble letter charms available in store! Whatever letter you want! Or, inquire about a custom bubble letter charm if you want a full word. #gold #diamond #pendant #charm #bubble #letter #letters #bling #hiphop #jewelry.”
The store’s commercials focus on hip-hop artists.
In 2017, the store announced that it was selling “White gold 4.0ctw square princess cut and baguette diamond mens earrings!” The store wrote two years ago, “You can get a custom gold nameplate starting at $150, takes 2 days to make. A full 3d diamond piece takes about 4 weeks, those start around $3K.” Jacob Rieple is listed as the store’s Facebook page administrator.
In 2017, the store wrote, “WE BUY GOLD !!! We pay top dollar for your gold jewelry. Bring in your gold, silver, and diamond jewelry to get a quote on how much you can get on a pawn today!” The page also wrote, “Shout out to the UKNOIT boys! They’ve made like 4-5 custom solid gold pendants already! If you’re interested in promoting your brand, come in and inquire about getting your own custom pieces made!”
5. The Shooting Occurred Amidst a Night of Looting but Police Say Business Owners Have a ‘Duty to Retreat’
The shooting occurred during a night of looting. However, Minnesota’s duty to retreat law could come into play here.
According to Elder, “The castle doctrine says if you’re in your home you have a right to stand your ground. It’s my understanding you do have a duty to retreat. Your business is not the same” as your home.
Keller Law Offices wrote in a post before the Cadillac Pawn incident, “While many states have enacted ‘stand your ground’ laws, Minnesota does not have a so-called stand your ground law. Instead, Minnesota law imposes a ‘duty to retreat,’ which means that if a person feels threatened, he or she may only use deadly force as a last resort. Conversely, states that have enacted stand your ground laws, like Florida, make it lawful for a person to use deadly force if threatened without a duty to retreat.” The law firm noted, “Minnesota follows the majority rule that there is no duty to retreat in one’s home.” (Read more about duty to retreat here.)
According to FindLaw, “Minnesota isn’t a stand your ground state. Rather, it’s a duty to retreat state which means that you must back away from confrontation if it’s possible. The state doesn’t have a castle law per se, but it does recognize the principles of the doctrine because Minnesota law allows you to use deadly force, including shooting an intruder, to prevent a felony from occurring in your home.” That site defines duty to retreat as “If the defendant isn’t in their home, Minnesota’s self-defense law requires a ‘duty to retreat’ before using deadly force, but only if retreat is possible and it doesn’t put the person into more danger. Deadly force isn’t authorized (outside of the home) unless there’s a reasonable belief of ‘great bodily harm.’”
It was a night of growing turmoil in Minneapolis. A Target store was looted and an AutoZone store set ablaze.
What started out as vigils quickly turned more chaotic in the streets. People were throwing Molotov cocktails, and police were using tear gas, according to live CNN reports. Flashbangs could be heard during the live broadcast. The scenes resembled the protests of a few years ago in Ferguson, Missouri, and other U.S. cities after controversial police-related deaths.
KTSP reported that looters left the Target store “with televisions, rugs and other items.”
There was also looting reported at a “tobacco store, a Dollar Tree and a liquor store. Additionally, Cub Foods and an AutoZone is being looted as well,” the television station reported.
People tweeted about the AutoZone.