Hennepin County public defender Matthew Jaimet said in court on Wednesday that he didn't know what to expect when he first met Marcus Fischer last week.
But he said the more he spoke with Fischer, 18, and the people who know him, Jaimet learned there's more to Fischer than the crimes he's accused of.
"The person in front of you is a young man who is working two jobs," Jaimet told Hennepin County Judge Gina Brandt during a bail hearing. "He's a good kid."
Jaimet said one of Fischer's teachers took time out of her vacation to write a letter in support of Fischer and send it to the judge.
Bail had been set at $200,000. Jaimet asked Brandt to lower the amount so that Fischer, who stood next to Jaimet wearing an orange jail uniform and a heavy bandage on his right arm, could recuperate at home while wearing a monitoring bracelet. Fischer told Judge Brandt that he is still in a lot of pain.
Investigators say last month Fischer was in police custody when he began to cut himself with a knife and two officers shot Fischer after he refused to drop it. Jaimet said Fischer still has a wound in his back that needs constant cleaning. And he said it may not be safe for Fischer to be in the general jail population while he tries to recover from his injuries.
Once the City Hall shooting investigation is over, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will submit its findings to the Washington County Attorney's Office.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Darren Borg said given Fischer's criminal history, bail should remain high. Court records show that Fischer was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2015 and last April, he was charged with illegal gun possession in Anoka County. A trial for that charge is set for later this year.
The most recent charges against Fischer — aggravated robbery, 1st degree assault and illegal gun possession — stem from an incident on Dec. 13. According to the criminal complaint, Fischer allegedly agreed to buy a Kel-Tec 9 mm handgun from a man in an alley in northeast Minneapolis, then pulled out his own gun, said words to the effect of, 'It's mine now,' and shot the victim in the chest.
Fischer's co-defendant, Blaine Anthony Archambault, Jr., 35, was charged with aiding and abetting the crime and with illegal gun possession.
Borg said the victim, who is not named in the complaint, was treated and later released from the hospital with a bullet fragment still lodged near his heart. Borg said the man is back in the hospital due to complications from the injuries and is in critical condition. If he dies, Borg said Fischer will be charged with murder.
The judge ordered that bail remain at $200,000 or $150,000 with conditions.
Jess Sundin, of the group Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, said the bail amount effectively punished Fischer "for a crime he hasn't been convicted of."
Sundin, who sat with members of Fischer's family in court, said the family is trying to raise the money through a GoFundMe campaign. She has not met Fischer, but Sundin said she's been impressed by the outpouring of support for Fischer over the last several weeks.
"He is someone who is described as having a great sense of humor and who is kind of irresistible," said Sundin. "And that people who know him, really do love him."
Fischer is due back in court next month.