Roommate of Normandale Park shooting suspect speaks out

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 12:27 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Kristine Christenson was the roommate of Normandale Park mass-shooting suspect Benjamin Smith up until his arrest. Just over a month later, she’s sharing what happened in the hours before the shooting and how she feels about her former roommate appearing in court.

“What if I was awake? Could I have done something?” Christenson asks. “People keep telling me, my therapist keeps telling me, there’s nothing I could have done and if I tried to intervene, there is a chance he could have shot me.”

Since the fateful Saturday night Feb. 19, Christenson says she’s been traumatized by thoughts on if she could have stopped at Normandale Park.

Her former roommate, Benjamin Smith, is accused of killing a woman in a mass shooting at the park where a march was being held in protest of the Minneapolis police killing of Amir Locke.

She says she was asleep when Smith left the apartment that Saturday night.

Christenson who was roommates with Smith for the last seven years says during the last few she felt extremely uncomfortable living with him. She says Smith kept guns in their apartment which was difficult for her as she says she has clinical depression.

“I did not feel safe at home around him,” Christenson says. “I have been wanting to leave this place, not because I didn’t like the location or the apartment but I wanted to get away from him for so long. But I couldn’t save up the money to get another place.”

Now, Christenson is left in an apartment with Smith’s things that she says she can pack up but not remove.

Those things, now a reminder of a night Christenson wishes she could forget.

“He’s been wanting to do something like that,” Christenson says. “For everyone’s safety, he needs to be put away.”