Authorities ID Victim In St. Paul Homicide; Man Charged As Accomplice

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Authorities say a 19-year-old man died Saturday in a shooting near the State Capitol.

Police responded at about 4 p.m. Saturday to the 200 block of Aurora Ave. on a report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found a male victim dead behind a building.

Police identified the victim on Monday as Da’seion Mariquez Pugh of St. Paul. Authorities said they don’t believe the shooting was random.

One suspect was arrested early Sunday morning in connection with the incident in a swampy area in Oakdale near Interstate 694 and 10th Street. Police said a second suspect, a juvenile male, was arrested Sunday afternoon.

The incident remains under investigation.

Monday, Ramsey County announced charges against the alleged accomplice in the shooting, 19-year-old Merion Dontez Denton.

According to the criminal complaint, the shooting occurred during a drug deal. Denton allegedly drove a 17-year-old, who police also took into custody, to Aurora Avenue.

The complaint states the 17-year-old entered a vehicle with Pugh and two other people, then pulled out a gun and demanded money and drugs. As Pugh and the two others fled, the 17-year-old began firing. Pugh collapsed between two houses and died from his gunshot wounds.

Police later found items reported stolen in the drug deal at Denton’s residence. In interviews with police, Denton admitted to driving the 17-year-old to the drug deal, hearing gunshots, seeing the 17-year-old with a gun and driving him from the scene of the robbery.

Denton faces six felony counts of aiding an offender. He remains in police custody.

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