Spring Lake Park: Felon Prohibited from Possessing Firearms Charged in Shots Fired Incident

Spring Lake Park man prohibited from possessing firearms following a robbery conviction less than a year ago is now facing new felony charges for second-degree assault and illegally possessing a firearm.

Barry Lee Hawkins, Anoka County Jail

A Spring Lake Park man prohibited from possessing firearms following a felony robbery conviction less than a year ago has now been charged in connection to a shots fired incident inside an apartment building in that city on Sunday evening, according to new criminal charges.

Barry Lee Hawkins, Jr., has over 20 criminal convictions in Minnesota including a March 2019 felony conviction for simple robbery, a crime of violence, which makes him ineligible to possess firearms.

Following that conviction, Hawkins was granted a stayed sentence by Anoka County Judge Nancy J. Logering and was alternatively sentenced to 150 days in the workhouse. Hawkins was given credit for 55 days already served in jail, which meant he was only required to serve an additional 45 days because Minnesota statute states that offenders are only required to served two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated.

Just after 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, police were called to an apartment building on the 8000 block of Buchanan Street Northeast in Spring Lake Park, MN, on a report of a shooting.

According to police dispatch audio, a male was reported to be shot but was reportedly no longer inside the apartment building. The suspect, however, was reported to still be inside the apartment building with a gun when police arrived. Further dispatch audio indicated that there was a brief stand-off while the suspect refused to come out of the building upon police order. The police dispatcher relayed to police that a 911 call-taker was on the phone with the suspect and that he said wouldn’t come out because “the victim’s father [was] at his apartment door threatening him.” The suspect reportedly told the call-taker that the “victim’s father [was] being very confrontational… and that [the suspect] did not feel safe coming out.” The audio indicated that the victim’s father subsequently exited the building and that the suspect then exited the building and was detained and taken into custody.

An initial press release from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) following the incident indicated that a 33 year-old male had been shot and that it was believed that the suspect and victim knew each other. Jail records showed that Hawkins, 36, was taken into custody and booked into Anoka County Jail following the incident.

An updated release from the ACSO on Monday contained a criminal complaint against Hawkins, which stated that the victim had not actually been shot.

According to the complaint, Hawkins originally went to the neighboring apartment where the victim lives in order to purchase marijuana. A short time later, the victim went to Hawkins’ apartment. There, after a brief confrontation, Hawkins pulled out .22 caliber Beretta handgun and fired a shot at the victim. The victim claimed he was hit in the face and fled the area. It was later learned the victim was not hit by the gunshot, the complaint said. 

Hawkins claimed the victim was “threatening” him but provided no details. Hawkins admitted possessing the handgun inside the apartment when the victim was there, and he later admitted he shot the gun. Police found the gun in a kitchen drawer, as Hawkins described, along with a magazine with seven unfired .22 cartridges.

Hawkins has been charged with two felony counts including possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and second-degree assault. The complaint states that Hawkins faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the firearms charge and up to 7 years on the assault charge.

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In addition to the March felony robbery conviction, Hawkins’ other convictions include a 2018 felony conviction for fleeing police, for which he also received a stayed felony sentence from Anoka County Judge John P. Dehen, and was instead sentenced to 90 days in jail. In the same case, Hawkins was also convicted on gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation – inimical to public safety and was ordered to serve 120 days in local jail concurrent with the 90-day jail sentence on the felony conviction. Hawkins also has three other gross misdemeanor convictions for driving after cancellation – inimical to public safety, as well as three gross misdemeanor DWI convictions. Other convictions include domestic assault, violation of a protection order, theft, damage to property and obstruction.

Court records indicate that Hawkins made his first court appearance on Monday and that he remains in custody in Anoka County Jail. No bail amounts or future court dates have been listed at this time.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.