By Mattie Hjelseth
To best describe the actions leading to the arrest of 30-year-old Cody Lee Walker-Nelson on Friday, the Duluth Police Department has provided this timeline outlining the chaotic events of that day.
The incident concluded after Walker-Nelson, armed and barricaded in a West Duluth apartment building, was taken into custody after communication with the Duluth Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation team and intervention by the Tactical Response Team.
Between 7:45 a.m. and 11:33 a.m., it is suspected that Walker-Nelson came into possession of numerous firearms after burglarizing a home in the 3800 block of Karky Road in Superior, WI. Those firearms were recovered by the Duluth Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit after Walker-Nelson was arrested in the apartment building in the 600 block of Central Ave later that day. This burglary is under investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
At approximately 11:33 a.m., Duluth Police Officers responded to the 300 block of N 58th Ave W on a report of an attempted vehicle theft. Officers spoke to the reporting party who stated that a Chevrolet Tahoe was taken. Walker-Nelson is charged with Theft of a Motor Vehicle related to this incident.
At approximately 12:19 p.m., Duluth Police Officers responded to the 10400 block of Highway 23 for a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, officers found that a gate at the entrance to the property along with a garage and pole barn had been struck by a vehicle. Officers spoke to the reporting party who stated that a suspect had entered a garage, pole barn, and a residence at the address. The suspect wasn’t located at the scene but based on video footage from the address, the suspected stolen Chevrolet Tahoe was identified as the suspect vehicle in the crime. Walker-Nelson is charged with 3rd Degree Burglary related to this incident.
At approximately 12:27 p.m., Duluth Police Officers were dispatched to a person with a weapon call at a car dealership in the 1400 block of Commonwealth Avenue. A 911 caller reported that a male, identified as Walker-Nelson, attempted to break into a vehicle and steal it at the address. Walker-Nelson was reported to be armed with a sword. When confronted by an employee, Walker-Nelson fled in the stolen Chevrolet Tahoe. The reporting party followed Walker-Nelson who continued to drive in an erratic behavior. While fleeing, Walker-Nelson was reported to have pointed a handgun out of the window of the Tahoe and fired it. It was initially reported that the handgun may have been an airsoft gun or BB gun pistol. At this time we cannot confirm if there was an actual discharge of a firearm.
A few minutes later, at approximately 12:33 p.m., a Duluth Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the stolen vehicle. Walker-Nelson fled and struck another vehicle. Officers did not pursue the vehicle based on public safety concerns. Walker-Nelson is charged with Attempted Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Hit and Run related to this incident. The stolen vehicle was later recovered near the 5400 block of Grand Avenue.
At approximately 12:36 p.m., Duluth Police Officers responded to a report of a stolen blue Ford Escape in the 5400 block of Grand Avenue. Upon arrival, Duluth Police Officers spoke to the owner of the Ford Escape who said while she was paying for gas she left the keys on the driver seat of the vehicle and that Walker-Nelson entered her vehicle and fled. Walker-Nelson is charged with Theft of Motor Vehicle related to this incident.
At approximately 1:39 p.m., Duluth Police Officers continued to take multiple reports of a blue Ford Escape driving recklessly throughout the city and surrounding cities. Walker-Nelson made his way to the Bong Bridge and drove the wrong way into the city of Superior. At around 1:40 p.m., he attempted to rob a bank in the city of Superior. For additional details, you are encouraged to go to Superior Police Department and reference Case #: 21SP15107
At approximately 1:48 p.m., Duluth Police Officers were dispatched to a call of shots fired in the 400 block of N 51st Ave W. Walker-Nelson arrived in the area in a blue Ford Escape and pointed a handgun at two victims. Walker-Nelson discharged the firearm and demanded money from an individual. No one was injured during the discharge of the weapon. After being handed some cash, Walker-Nelson proceeded to give the individuals two guns and fled in the stolen blue Ford Escape. Walker-Nelson is charged with 2nd Degree Assault, 1st Degree Aggravated Robbery, Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, and two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm related to this incident.
At approximately 2:13 p.m., an off-duty Duluth Police Investigator was at a gas station in the 2700 block of Piedmont Ave. While paying for gas, the investigator was notified by another customer that someone was inside his vehicle. This individual was identified as Walker-Nelson. The investigator confronted Walker-Nelson who then got back into the blue Ford Escape and fled. Walker-Nelson is charged with Attempted Theft of a Motor Vehicle related to this incident.
A short time later, law enforcement located Walker-Nelson in the blue Ford Escape, and a pursuit was initiated. Walker-Nelson continued to flee from police and had a complete disregard for public safety. The pursuit started northbound on Haines Road and continued to go throughout the city. Due to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, the pursuit was terminated as there was a significant public safety risk. After that pursuit was terminated, officers again located the vehicle and initiated a pursuit in the Lincoln Park area but a short time later terminated it due to public safety reasons. Walker-Nelson is charged with two counts of Fleeing in a Motor Vehicle and Hit and Run related to this incident.
At approximately 2:37 p.m., Duluth Police Officers located the blue Ford Escape at Cody and Central Ave. Walker-Nelson was seen in possession of several firearms while exiting the vehicle. He then went into an apartment nearby. Walker-Nelson barricaded himself inside an apartment in the building. While barricaded, Walker-Nelson discharged his firearm several times while inside the apartment. Multiple attempts were made by the Duluth Police Department’s Crisis Negotiations Team to get Walker-Nelson to surrender and end the incident peacefully. The Tactical Response Team utilized non-lethal tactics to gain compliance and apprehend the armed and dangerous suspect. Walker-Nelson was arrested at 8:27 p.m. and is charged with two counts of Reckless Discharge of a Weapon, and five counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm as well as the above charges.
Walker-Nelson was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation and later booked at the St. Louis County Jail awaiting formal charges.