ST. PAUL, Minn. (TCD) — A 39-year-old man was recently found guilty of killing his wife a day before they were supposed to be evicted from their home in 2010.
According to the criminal complaint, on April 25, 2010, at approximately 6:31 a.m., Heidi Firkus called 911 and said someone was trying to break into her home on Minnehaha Avenue West. A gunshot was reportedly heard before Firkus stopped talking, and the “call went dead.”
At around 6:33 a.m., Firkus’ husband, Nicholas Firkus, allegedly called 911 from his wife’s phone. The complaint alleges he was “highly emotional” when he called and said “someone had broken into their home.”
Nicholas Firkus reportedly told dispatchers that he and his wife had been shot trying to flee to the garage.
According to the complaint, police arrived at the home and could smell gunpowder. Heidi Firkus was reportedly found dead in the kitchen, and there was blood in her hair and on her face.
An autopsy report later revealed the victim died from a gunshot wound to the back, and shotgun pellets “perforated her posterior/lateral vertebral column, left ribs, left lung, and anterior ribs,” according to the complaint. Her manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Nicholas Firkus suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, the complaint alleges. He reportedly told police that one or two people tried to break into his home, and he grabbed a shotgun before trying to run to the garage with his wife. He then allegedly told police the intruder took the shotgun from him and shot him and his wife.
According to the complaint, “When asked whether the suspect was Black or white,” he said “he didn’t know,” and that “the suspect was wearing a hood.”
Nicholas Firkus was reportedly transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injures, but he was “hysterical throughout the exam and crying loudly.”
He was interviewed again at the police station and recalled the home invasion. Additionally, the complaint said he told police that “he and Heidi were behind on their bills, that their house had been foreclosed on, and that they had to be out of the house the next day.”
However, Firkus reportedly said he and his wife didn’t tell their friends or family about the eviction or foreclosure, and they were going to to leave.
The complaint alleges the couple bought the home in 2007 for just over $200,000, but they stopped making mortgage payments, and the foreclosure was served on June 4, 2009. The house was reportedly sold via a sheriff’s auction, and they were told to leave the home on Monday, April 26, 2010.
On May 20, 2021, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office announced Nicholas Firkus was charged with one count of intentional second-degree homicide in connection with his wife’s death.
Investigators reportedly determined Heidi Firkus did not know about her husband’s bank debt or the foreclosure. They also learned there was no evidence of a home invasion struggle, the Attorney’s Office said. Authorities reportedly did not find any unidentified DNA on the shotgun or from the front door of the house.
In September 2021, Nicholas Firkus was indicted on a count of first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Several months later, on Feb. 10, the Attorney’s Office announced Firkus was found guilty on those charges.