When Nicki Lenway went to pick up her 5-year-old son from a FamilyWise parenting center, she couldn’t have possibly foreseen the horrific events that awaited her. A mysterious figure, dressed in all black with their face concealed by a black mask, suddenly approached her and fired multiple shots. Nicki was struck and fell to the ground, leaving the police baffled as to who would commit such a brazen daylight attack. CBS’s ’48 Hours: Who Wanted Nicki Lenway Dead?’ delves into this perplexing mystery in an exclusive interview with Nicki Lenway, which aired on October 7, 2023. Let’s get into the details and find out more about the case and where Nicki is at present, shall we?
What Happened to Nicki Lenway?
While not much is known about Nicki’s early life, what is known is that she graduated from Hamline University and had been working as a forensic scientist for the Minneapolis Police Department since 2013. She had worked on numerous high-stakes cases and was recognized for her diligence and hard work in her profession. Nicki also had a 5-year-old son, Callahan, with her ex-boyfriend, Tim Amacher, who had been granted court-monitored supervised visits with his son once a week. On April 20, 2022, Nicki arrived at the FamilyWise supervised parenting center on University Avenue near the University of Minnesota to pick up her son following one of these court-sanctioned visits.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., Nicki Lenway pulled into the parking lot and was halfway between the door and her car when she was suddenly attacked from behind. A slim figure, dressed entirely in black and wearing a mask to conceal their face, approached her and fired shots at point-blank range. Nicki was struck in her neck and arm, and she struggled to breathe as a result of her injuries. Recalling the incident in the episode, she said, “I fell to the ground. … And the shooter stands over me and continues to try to shoot.”
In her attempt to seek help, Nicki tried to enter the FamilyWise building, but she was denied entry. She then attempted to call 911, but her throat injury made it difficult for the dispatcher to understand her. It was at this moment that Emilie Clancy, who had witnessed the incident while waiting at a red light in her car, sprang into action. As soon as the light turned green, Emilie rushed to Nicki’s aid and took over the 911 call. She allowed Nicki into the front seat of her car, removed her jacket, and placed it over Nicki’s neck to help staunch the bleeding. First responders arrived shortly after the call, and they swiftly transported Nicki to a nearby hospital for medical attention.
Where is Nicki Lenway Now?
The police initiated their investigation but faced various dead-ends in the case. The opportunity to interview Nicki came the next day while she was still in the hospital. During the interview, she immediately expressed her conviction that Amacher was involved in the attack. Nicki revealed that her relationship with Amacher, which lasted from 2012 to 2015, had been marked by abuse. She discovered she was pregnant a month after their relationship ended, leading to a protracted and acrimonious custody battle. Amacher had attempted to undermine her career and even made false accusations against her boyfriend at the time, Donovan Ford, regarding child abuse and implicated Nicki too.
In November 2020, a custody trial took place, and Nicki was granted full custody of their child, with Amacher receiving one supervised visit per week. However, in January 2022, the situation changed, and Amacher gained unsupervised parenting time. It was during the first unsupervised visit that he allegedly asked the child to lie about abuse involving Nicki and Ford, which the child later confessed to a social worker. Subsequently, the judge revoked Amacher’s rights, requiring him to have supervised visits at FamilyWise, which he was responsible for financially.
Although Amacher had an alibi, claiming he was inside FamilyWise with their son at the time of the shooting, the police believed he had a clear motive and continued to investigate further. The investigation took a significant turn when the police discovered that the car used by the perpetrator matched the model owned by Amacher, despite his initial denial of ownership. When questioned by the police, Amacher claimed that the only person who had access to that car was Colleen Larson. Larson had been Amacher’s taekwondo student since she was an adolescent, and when she turned 18, she moved in with him, and the two entered into a romantic relationship.
Larson was subsequently brought in for questioning. Initially, she denied any knowledge of the crime. However, during a second interview, she confessed that Amacher had asked her to kill Nicki and had even disposed of the gun that she used in the attempt. Amacher’s trial took place on November 3, 2022, and he was found guilty of premeditated attempted murder. He was subsequently sentenced to 18 years in prison. A few days later, Larson pleaded guilty to first-degree premeditated attempted murder and received a sentence of 16-and-a-half years for her involvement in the crime.
Nicki displayed remarkable resilience throughout her recovery process, and by the time the trial was underway, she had made significant progress. She was strong enough to take the witness stand and fully healed to speak. Nevertheless, there were permanent scars on her neck and arm, and due to lasting damage to her vocal cords, she could no longer sing. In 2017, Nicki began a relationship with Donovan Ford, a Minneapolis police officer, and their connection grew stronger over time. They eventually got married in October 2022, marking a significant milestone in her life. Nicki is content knowing that she has received the justice she rightfully deserved, and her assailants have been held accountable for their crimes. Her indomitable spirit remains unbroken, and she looks forward to embracing a fresh chapter in her life with her son, her husband, Donovan, and the support of her parents.