Homicide tops 2015 public safety stories
• Trumane "Trey" Lamar Gillmore, 22, was shot and killed Aug. 31 on Park Lane Southeast, apparently in retaliation for an armed robbery earlier in the day. Courtney Eli Ocegueda, 19, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. He's in custody at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center and is due back in court Feb. 2. The attempted murder charges are linked to two other men who were also shot by Ocegueda, who said the three victims robbed him at gunpoint and stole his watch. About two hours later, officers responded to a report of shots fired near 2313 Park Lane SE. Officers found 15 spent 9-mm casings at the scene; Ocegueda confirmed in a statement to police that he'd obtained a handgun from an acquaintance, and that "it had a full clip." He's accused of firing into a group of people playing basketball; the three victims were part of the group.
• An area TV reporter became part of the news earlier this month after a wild set of events put him in the middle of a crime, then in the middle of a frenzy. Adam Sallet, who works for KIMT-TV out of Mason City, Iowa, was in the parking lot of Sterling State Bank on Dec. 15, giving a live report about a bank robbery there the day before. As he began to speak, a bank employee ran toward him, pointing at a man running away. It was the robber from the day before — who had just robbed the bank again — and walked in front of Sallet's TV camera not once, but twice. The resulting video of both the robber (who was caught an hour later) and Sallet's reaction went viral, featured on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, all national networks, Buzzfeed, theCHIVE and the BBC, to name a few. Sallet spent the next couple of days on the other side of the camera; as recently as Saturday, actor Ashton Kutcher commented on the incident on his Facebook.
• An 18-year-old Dodge Center resident, Logan Maas, was killed in a one-vehicle crash Dec. 18. Maas, a senior at Triton High School, also volunteered with the Dodge Center Fire Department; his career goal was to be a firefighter. Instead, he was given a firefighter's sendoff, with 14 departments sending representatives to Maas' funeral, including a captain from the St. Paul Fire Department. His turnout gear was displayed at the funeral, which drew about 1,000 people. Maas is survived by his parents, Matt and Julie; a sister, Mariah, a brother, Dylan, and many other relatives.
• Steven Mark Zelich, 54, of West Allis, Wis., was charged in November in Olmsted County District Court with one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree intentional murder and second-degree unintentional murder, all felonies. He's accused of killing two women — one of them in Rochester — then stuffing their bodies into suitcases and leaving them on a country road in Wisconsin. Zelich remains in custody there, where he's been charged with three counts of hiding a corpse and one count of first-degree intentional homicide. A trial is set to begin Jan. 25 in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Zelich is not expected to appear in Olmsted County District Court until the Wisconsin cases are resolved. He allegedly killed Laura Jean Simonson, 37, on Nov. 2, 2013, at a Rochester hotel. His other victim was Jenny M. Gamez, 19, of Oregon.
• The Rochester Fire Department opened a new Fire Station No. 2 in July, a 30,000-square-foot facility that replaces the old No. 2 at West Silver Lake Drive and Seventh Street Northeast. The $8.8 million building, located just southwest of East Circle Drive and Viola Drive Northeast, The station houses 12 firefighters, with four assigned there per day; new recruits will have training classes there. The Olmsted County dispatch center, emergency management department and a squad office for the Rochester Police Department will also share the space. The facility was designed to provide a greater area of coverage and maintain the RFD goal of a four-minute response time to all city locations. The old station will remain with the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department; the new station is expected to be used for the next 50 to 60 years.