MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 29-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a robbery and homicide that occurred in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood earlier this month.
Benjamin Lee Harris, of St. Paul, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder while committing a felony.
According to St. Paul police, just before 4 a.m. on Sept. 1 police responded to a call of an attempted armed robbery on the 1200 block of Galtier Street.
Upon arrival, police found a 41-year-old man face down in the street. He was not moving and was bleeding from his abdomen.
He was declared dead on the scene.
Police approached a woman who was also on the scene. She said she was the man’s girlfriend.
The woman told police she and the man had been sitting in a car when another man, later identified as Harris, approached the car wearing dark clothing and white bandana over his face. He displayed a gun and told them to open the door.
As the man opened the door, Harris demanded money.
The woman said she took out $20 and placed it on the hood of the car, but Harris demanded she bring it to him. As she began to do so, the man attempted to disarm Harris.
Harris shot twice, and the man fell to the ground.
According to the criminal complaint, police used fingerprints taken from the car to identify Harris.
Further investigation found that Harris lives with his mother in a building on the 1500 block of Marion Street in St. Paul. Upon viewing surveillance footage from around 4 a.m. Sept. 1, police saw a man matching Harris’ description run up to the building, looking nervous.
On Sept. 6, police arrested Harris as he was leaving his mother’s residence.
During a search of Harris’ bedroom, they found dark clothing and a white bandana.
Police said Harris denied knowing anything about the crime but did mentioned the “lady with $20” during questioning, something they had not previously mentioned.
Harris was placed under arrest and is currently awaiting sentencing. If found guilty, Harris could face up to 40 years in prison for each charge.