MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 24-year-old man faces a second-degree assault charge in a stabbing on Van Buren West in St. Paul Sunday, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
On Tuesday, Leevester Pauldrake Rhodes was charged and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, police officers responded to the stabbing on 560 Van Buren West at 2:09 a.m. There they encountered a “chaotic scene,” with a witness yelling, “He’s shot. He’s in the back yard shot.” Officers then located a man face down in the snow, dead from a gunshot wound.
Outside the house, officers located another adult male victim, who was conscious and still able to walk, suffering from three stab wounds. He was taken to Regions Hospital where we had surgery to repair his injuries.
After interviewing witnesses, police arrested Rhodes and 21-year-old Damonta Ivy Jones at an apartment in Bloomington later that day.
In an interview at the hospital, the stabbing victim told police that before the incident, he was celebrating the birthday of his brother, Prince Pope, the shooting victim.
He told police that their little sister arrived at the party with Jones and was wearing dark sunglasses to cover a black eye. When Pope confronted Jones about the injury, Rhodes allegedly tried to sucker punch Pope. That’s when the stabbing victim tried to defend his brother and was stabbed by Rhodes, according to the complaint.
In a post-Miranda interview, Jones told police that Rhodes admitted to stabbing Pope’s brother, but that they only heard the gunshots after they fled the party.
Rhodes has refused to talk to police and the circumstances of Pope’s death remain under investigation. He will make his first appearance on the assault charge Tuesday afternoon.
Pope was a comedian and social commentator with a significant following on YouTube.