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MINNEAPOLIS – A Maple Grove man has pleaded guilty to an armed carjacking at a Blaine grocery store, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, on September 24, 2022, Justin Michael Kittleson, 20, targeted two victims as they left the Cub Foods grocery store in Blaine and loaded groceries into their car. Kittleson approached one of the victims at the trunk of the car and pointed a gun at them. The second victim attempted to intervene, and a struggle ensued. The gun discharged, and the shot is believed to have grazed the second victim’s ear. Kittleson took control of the car and drove away. A 9MM shell casing was recovered at the scene by officers with the Blaine Police Department. After reviewing surveillance video footage and with the assistance from other members of the public, officers were able to identify and locate Kittleson. On September 29, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a residence associated with Kittleson and recovered two 9MM firearms (the same caliber as the casing found at the scene of the carjacking) and a hooded sweatshirt that matched the sweatshirt Kittleson was seen wearing in the surveillance footage.
Kittleson pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Ann D. Montgomery to one count of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Kittleson is scheduled to be sentenced on August 16, 2023.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Blaine Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Middlecamp is prosecuting the case.