The first shooting happened Monday afternoon on the city’s north end, near the intersection of Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue.
An 18-year-old man, identified as Raumez Ross of Apple Valley, was walking on the sidewalk when he was struck by gunfire. Responding officers found him with grave wounds in a nearby grocery store, where he died shortly after.
The second homicide happened around 10 p.m. in the Payne Phalen neighborhood, at the scene of a four-car crash.
The good Samaritan, identified as 31-year-old Javier Sanmiguel of Saint Paul, died. Police say the suspect is in custody.
Around midnight, two men showed up at Regions Hospital with gunshot wounds. Their car had several bullet holes.
Video: St. Paul police investigating homicide outside store
One of the victims had non-life-threatening injuries. The other, identified as Nikey L. Taylor Jr, 27, was pronounced dead on arrival.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell wrote on Facebook that he’s called a meeting with his executive team and will announce his plan to find those responsible for the violence on Tuesday.
A Good Samaritan, a man, came out of his nearby home and tried to help the drivers. At this point, the male driver opened fire from inside the vehicle, shooting the Samaritan in the head.
“Last night was one of the most violent nights I have witnessed in my career,” Axtell wrote. “Three lives were lost, three families will never be the same and our community is waking to uncertainty and fear. Please know that the women and men of the [St. Paul Police Department] are working tirelessly to apprehend anyone involved in this violence. Please pray for the victims, our community and our staff who are exhausted from working extraodinary (sic) hours.”
Following the three recent shootings, the city’s homicide count for the year has climbed to 19.
St. Paul police investigating shooting death
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell called it “one of the most violent nights I have witnessed in my career.”
The violence began Monday afternoon when a man walking in the citys North End was struck by shots fired from across the street. Later Monday, police were called to a car crash in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, where one of the drivers shot a man who came out of his home to help the crash victims.
Police spokesman Steve Linders says investigators are trying to determine whether the shooting was connected with two others Monday and early Tuesday.
Homicide investigators were called a third time after two men shot in the Frogtown neighborhood arrived at Regions Hospital early Tuesday. One of the men died upon his arrival, St. Paul police said.
The 31-year-old man was shot in the head in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood about 10 p.m. Monday. A 27-year-old driver was detained.
“Please know that the women and men of the SPPD are working tirelessly to apprehend anyone involved in this violence,” Axtell said. “Please pray for the victims, our community and our staff who are exhausted from working extraordinary hours.”
Axtell and Mayor Melvin Carter were scheduled to speak at a news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday in St. Paul, according to the mayors office.
18-Year-Old Man Dead In St. Paul Shooting, Citys 3rd Homicide In A Week
Police made an arrest in connection with the second homicide that occurred after a four-vehicle crash around 10 p.m. at the intersection of Case Avenue and Edgerton Street. Witnesses told police that a man driving south on Edgerton Street rear-ended a vehicle driven by a woman. The impact propelled the womans car into an unoccupied parked car.
Maya Thompson, San Miguels neighbor, said she was sitting on the couch around 10 p.m. when she heard the vehicle crash.
She said she went outside and asked her husband to come and help. San Miguel and a couple other people had approached the accident, she said. A young woman got out of one of the cars and said a man had just hit her with his car and forced her into a third car, but the neighbors couldnt see anyone in the car that caused the accident, Thompson said.
A couple of men including San Miguel approached the car and one started to open the hatchback, Thompson said, and the driver was inside. The man started shooting, she said, hitting San Miguel in the head. He continued shooting, Thompson said, preventing her husband from helping San Miguel as he lay in the street.
Police arrived within minutes and arrested the man, who never left his car, Thompson said. She said San Miguel and his wife have four children under age 7, and that he had recently gotten his dream job as a freelance interpreter.
“Theyre great people,” Thompson said of San Miguel and his wife. “Theres nothing bad about Javier.”
Members of the police departments Homicide Unit are currently looking for and interviewing potential witnesses. The Forensic Services Unit is processing the scene for evidence. And so far no arrests have been made.
Thompson said this is the second fatal shooting in the neighborhood since she and her husband moved into their house four years ago.
Investigators immediately began canvassing the area, looking for potential witnesses and surveillance video. In addition, patrol officers secured the scene until members of the departments Forensics Services Unit are able to process it for evidence. Multiple units from the police department are working to determine the motive for the shooting and identify the suspects, but as of 4 a.m. Tuesday, no arrests have been made. It is unclear at this time if it was connected to any of the other recent shootings in the city, including one that occurred at intersection of Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue that killed an 18-year-old man at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9.
“Something has got to turn around. And the mayor cannot cut the police force right now in St. Paul. We begged him not to do that,” she said. “We need more police, not less, with crimes like this committed. Its not going to stop.”
Investigators were still looking for the gunman who killed Raumez Ross, 18, of Apple Valley. Several 911 calls came in about 4:30 p.m. Monday after shots rang out at Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue. Paramedics arrived and found Ross lying in a corner convenience store. He died at the scene despite the efforts of officers and paramedics to revive him, said police department spokesman Steve Linders.
The latest homicide occurred shortly after midnight near University Avenue and Marion Street. Police said the occupants of one vehicle shot at another vehicle and then took off. The men inside the vehicle that was shot multiple times made their way to Regions Hospital where one of the men died, police said.
As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, no one had been arrested in the latest murder and police were still working to determine if the fatal shooting was connected to the two others.
The victim in the third homicide was identified as Nickey Taylor by employees at L-Z Truck Equipment Inc., where he worked for nearly three years.
“Everybody just loved him; he was just the greatest kid,” Zeece said. “Were just devastated that hes gone.”
“We can no longer afford to lose another life, bury another baby,” said Dora Jones-Robinson, executive director of Mentoring Young Adults and founder of the Guns Down St. Paul movement.
Nathaniel Khaliq, former president of the St. Paul chapter of the NAACP; community activist and retired police officer Melvin Carter Jr., the mayors father; and Rev. Darryl Spence of The God Squad joined Jones-Robinson to speak out against the gun violence that has roiled the city.
“This is a community problem and its got to be a community solution,” Khaliq said, adding that he and other community leaders are willing and able to mediate when tensions rise between individuals and groups in the community.
But Khaliq said the response to the violence cannot mirror the strong-arm tactics of years past, alluding to the crack epidemic and gun violence of the 90s that led to racial profiling and police “saturating” the community.
St. Paul reporter Emma Nelson joined the Star Tribune in 2014, and has covered local government beats from Scott and Dakota counties to Minneapolis City Hall. She has also been part of reporting teams that covered the aftermath of the Norwood Teague sexual harassment scandal and the death of Prince.
Tim Harlow covers traffic and transportation issues in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and likes to get out of the office, even during rush hour. Harlow also covers general assignment and breaking news and weather.
James Walsh is a reporter covering St. Paul and its neighborhoods. He has had myriad assignments in nearly 30 years at the Star Tribune, including federal courts and St. Paul schools.
Shannon Prather covers Ramsey County for the Star Tribune. Previously, she covered philanthropy and nonprofits. Prather has two decades of experience reporting for newspapers in Minnesota, California, Idaho, Wisconsin and North Dakota. She has covered a variety of topics including the legal system, law enforcement, education, municipal government and slice-of-life community news.