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Man arrested in West Duluth standoff faces 19 felony charges

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson's criminal complaint outlines a long list of events that allegedly occurred in Duluth and Superior before the multi-hour standoff.

Standoff file
Special force officers have guns drawn outside of an apartment building during a more than six-hour standoff in West Duluth on Friday evening, Oct. 1, 2021. Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

The 30-year-old Duluth man arrested Friday night after a pursuit and more-than-six-hour standoff with law enforcement in West Duluth has been charged with 19 felony offenses and two misdemeanor offenses.

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson's charges include three counts for theft of a motor vehicle, one count of second-degree assault, two counts of failure to stop for a collision, three counts of reckless discharge of a firearm, two counts of fleeing a police officer and seven counts of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

The criminal complaint outlines what police believe to be the timeline of events they were just beginning to piece together on Friday.

PREVIOUSLY:

  • Duluth police identify man arrested in Friday night standoff Cody Lee Walker-Nelson's past convictions include impersonating a police officer while attempting to get into the safes of Duluth gas stations in 2014.
  • Police apprehend man after standoff in West Duluth

Walker-Nelson is accused of breaking into a Superior home on Karky Road and stealing 12 firearms before driving to Duluth and stealing a Chevy Tahoe, according to the criminal complaint. Shortly after, he's believed to have driven the vehicle through the doors of a garage in Gary-New Duluth and allegedly broke into an unoccupied house, leaving blood on the scene.

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Cody Lee Walker-Nelson

The defendant then reportedly drove to New Duluth Auto on Commonwealth Avenue and got into a Subaru on the lot when the owner came out to ask what he was doing. The complaint said Walker-Nelson had a large sword with him and fled in the Chevy Tahoe after telling the owner he was "taking" the Subaru.

A Duluth police officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Walker-Nelson a few minutes later on Grand Avenue, but the complaint said the defendant crashed into a Northshore Community Options van transporting two vulnerable adults and sped off to the nearby Holiday Gas station, where he allegedly stole a Ford Escape while its owner was inside the store.

An hour later, the defendant was seen driving the stolen Escape the wrong way across the Bong Bridge into Superior, where Superior police said he attempted to rob Associated Bank.

Walker-Nelson then drove to Duluth's Spirit Valley neighborhood and approached a vehicle occupied by two people while carrying a silver handgun, the complaint said. He allegedly pointed the gun at a woman in the car, shot a round into the sky, and then threatened them again while demanding money.

One of the victims handed over $80 and Walker-Nelson left behind two firearms linked to the gun burglary in Superior that morning, the complaint said. The Duluth Police Department located a shell casing at the scene.

The complaint said Walker-Nelson drove to Piedmont Milk House on Piedmont Avenue where an off-duty officer was filling his personal vehicle with gas. When the officer went into the store, a customer alerted him that the defendant was in his truck.

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Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

Walker-Nelson told the officer he thought it was his friend's truck and hopped back into the stolen Escape.

Hermantown police, and later Duluth police and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, found Walker-Nelson on Haines Road and pursued him at speeds up to 100 mph.

At times driving into oncoming traffic and nearly hitting several vehicles during an 8.2-mile pursuit, the defendant allegedly fled onto Arrowhead Road, and then Kenwood Avenue, into the Myers-Wilkins Elementary School area and down Mesaba Avenue, where he hit a vehicle attempting to turn onto the road.

Law enforcement terminated the pursuit because of heavy traffic and safety concerns.

Shortly after, a sergeant parked in Lincoln Park heard a gunshot before the defendant sped past him. Another pursuit was initiated that was quickly terminated due to similar safety concerns.

Around 2:30 p.m. is when Walker-Nelson arrived at the West Duluth apartment, at 601 N. Central Ave., and barricaded himself inside.

Walker-Nelson allegedly shot four times through the apartment window at a drone officers were using. He shot another time through the apartment wall and into the adjoining apartment and tossed three firearms, also linked to the Superior burglary, out the window, the complaint said.

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He was taken into custody shortly before 8:30 p.m. Authorities uncovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two swords, a handgun and a rifle.

Walker-Nelson's first court appearance since the arrest was Tuesday morning.

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