Brooklyn Park Community Mourns Neighbors Death With Vigil

19June 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Brooklyn Park community came together Saturday night at a vigil for one of their own.

Paul Pfeifer was killed last weekend when a neighbor ran him over with his car. At the spot where it happened, neighbors burned sage and placed flowers.

Pfeifer’s husband, Joseph Pfeifer St. James, said the vigil was about taking back their neighborhood and eradicating hate.

“Pray for their homes, pray for peace in their homes, pray for their family,” Pfeifer St. James said. “Pray that they feel safe.”

Friends and relatives spoke lovingly of a man taken too soon.

“Simply put, Paul was loved and he brought out the best in everyone,” one friend said.

Christopher Rice is charged with second-degree murder in Pfeifer’s death. He told investigators voices in his head instructed him to do it.

Rice was out on bond from an aggravated robbery case last summer, when he was accused of hitting another one of his neighbors, Ariel Wright, with her own car.

“[He] pushed me to the side, jumped in my car and as the car was moving, I got pushed by the car door that was open and my face got scraped up and I had a black eye for a while,” Wright said.

Court records show Rice has been found incompetent to stand trial in Wright’s case. Police know Rice to have a history of mental health issues.

Seeing Rice back home worried Wright and her mother, Laura Jensen, that Rice might commit another crime.

“It’s really disappointing in the fact that there are supposed to be all these safeguards to prevent a tragedy like this from happening,” Wright said.

Jensen says the neighborhood’s been traumatized by Pfeifer’s death.

After being arrested last weekend, Rice told police he has schizophrenia and bipolar disease. He also said he hadn’t taken his medications in more than a month.

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Author: WCCO | CBS Minnesota

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