MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- A crowd of several hundred people came out to Brackett Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis Tuesday night to learn more about the murder of 25-year-old Shea Jeffrey William Stremcha, and the two men now charged in connection with his murder.

The crowd of neighbors and citizens came with safety concerns, wondering about a motive, how the suspected burglars settled on breaking into Stremcha’s home and what caused them to fire a deadly shot into his chest.

“This is a very, very rare kind of crime and very, very unique,” Third Precinct Inspector Lucy Gerold told the crowd. “We have DNA and fingerprint evidence that put both of them at that scene so it’s a very strong case.”

Robert Shelby, 27, and Semaj Williams, 21, both of Minneapolis, have been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary for the July 20 incident. Police said Shelby allegedly fired the gun, while Williams was involved in the break-in.

According to criminal charges, officers were dispatched to a residence on the 2900 block of 45th Avenue South in Minneapolis on the report of a shooting.

Upon arrival, they found Stremcha on his back in the hallway outside the bedroom with a pool of blood around his body. A large knife was resting near Stremcha’s hand and it was determined that he died from a single gunshot wound to the heart.

Police met with Stremcha’s fiance, who was the only other occupant in the home. She said she and Stremcha were sleeping when she woke up to the sound of breaking glass. She said she woke up Stremcha, who grabbed a knife from a table next to the bed and left the bedroom to investigate.

A short time later, the woman heard a loud gunshot and saw Stremcha fall to the floor. Police found traces of blood on Stremcha’s knife and a small trail of blood in the home and sent it to the Minneapolis Police Crime Lab unit to be processed. The lab results showed the blood at the crime scene was a match for Shelby. A fingerprint recovered at the home was also found to match that of Williams.

Both men were arrested and taken into custody. Police noted that Shelby had a large cut on his hand at the time of the arrest. Police arrested the pair within 36 hours of the crime.

Neighbor Ashley Crain said she’s already living her life differently. She often saw Stremcha and his fiancé come and go, and now said she’s sadly watching over her shoulder at all times.  

“One house away. It’s tough,” said Crain. “And for us we are always reminded because the house is right there so you can’t walk your dog down the street the same way you did before.”

Inspector Gerold told the crowd Tuesday night that a burglary turned murder is rare. Out of all the reported burglaries in this area since 2000, only six involved guns. In fact, Gerold said crime in the area has gone down 40 percent since last year and 60 percent when police compared July of 2011 to July of 2010.

Still, police are urging anyone that hears a break-in or just sees suspicious activity to always call 911 immediately.

Comments (60)
  1. Mr. Me says:

    that sounds like a slam dunk for the prosecution…but then again with that evidence they’ll take a deal

  2. DARREN says:

    Hate crime? Yeah right.

  3. Bob says:

    Should have grabed his 357 and started shooting instead of a knife.



  4. Dear Jeffrey says:

    How has diversity made your life more financialy comfortable, I live in a suburb 20min north of minneapolis, same town I work in, luckily section 8 hasn’t flooded my burb yet, therefore it is still a nice place for a family, but you keep enjoying that diversity i hope it pays you a visit 1 night, I have no fear of diverse people, they just serve 0 purpose to me, what does a goof in another country have to do with diversity here? I hope you’re joking about being a parent, otherwise I feel pity for your children

    1. Todd W. Olson says:

      You hold your racist convictions so intensely that you wish death upon those who diagree with you? You, sir, are beneath contempt.

      1. Jeff R. says:

        I’m glad you feel pity for my 17 year old who was awarded a $70,000 academic scholarship to Stanford in May. And she grew up right here in good ol’ Minneapolis – the city of “diversity”. Ever been to Chicago? New York? Hell, Cleveland? Probably not. Your idea of seeing the world is probably going out to Applebee’s on a Friday night and taking a “vacation” to St. Cloud. I don’t pity her at all. She was well educated and has a head start on handling the real America. Your comment basically defines you as a person – “they just serve 0 purpose to me, what does a goof in another country have to do with diversity here”. You, my friend, are a chicken. And I’m glad I live close to downtown, where I work, and where I am fortunate to have an above average job. Oh, and I feel safe. I love this city. Chicken.

        1. funny guy jeff r says:

          Well goody for you, Jeff. Looks like your daughter picked a “diverse” college there! stay safe bro!

      2. Todd W. Olson says:

        Perhaps you need to go back and read Dear Jeffery’s comments again. Given the context, the meaning is quite clear. And he IS a racist.

    2. Greg says:

      Really Kevin. Well we all shipped our butts out to the BURBS 6 years ago and now all but 3 homes are black owned. Big ups to ya Jeff. If you make it out to our so called HOODBURBS Anoka look us up. Got a home for you to buy. 3 left the the whites..No really that’s the last name of the family across from me. They are looking to move, Then we will have 2. And the count down start.

    3. Yes says:

      You are correct. The vast majority of blacks don’t committ crimes, because there is so many of them and they are too lazy to committ crimes.

    4. nananananananana STATMAN says:

      Your right, the vast majority of blacks don’t commit crimes… BUT you see past the fact that the majority of crimes are committed by blacks or minorities. Look at the statistics. “Moron”???

    5. Seriously? says:

      Can’t you read the Detroit free press and stay off our site? Maybe they wouldn’t have the economic necessity if they didn’t have 8 kids from 7 fathers(none of which provide support). I know, I know. Abandoning your kids isn’t a race or culture issue, it’s an economic one right? Maybe go back to college and major in something other than “ethnic studies” and we might get something resembling a rational argument from you. Until then, go away.

    6. The Architect says:

      “Those who do, do so out of economic necessity.”

      There is no “economic necessity” to home invade someone and kill them for their possessions, Eric.

      At what point of poverty would YOU decide to home invade your neighbors and kill them for what they have and make it yours so that YOU could be better off, Eric?

      1. John Redcorn says:

        Not unlike what happened to my people. Anyway, food for thought..

        1. Redneck Purist says:

          You mean losing the war?

        2. Redneck Purist says:

          The die was cast when they named him Semaj. Anyone with that name is limited to one of two career choices. Burglar or terrorist.

          1. Beer Guzzling Redneck says:

            I was thinking he could qualify as a chalk outline template someday. More likely now, he’ll have a prison uniform “sagging” as he servers time with his “fam” in da joint.

  5. Micheal says:

    I live out in the so called BURBS,,Where the whites keep getting whiter. It’s really sad to see those who only want life that way, Yes in time the people of Minneapolis will be knocking at your door. Forced or not, Give it time,

  6. Eagle Eye says:

    Ummm…. I don’t think the other suspect was 12 years old as mentioned in the story. If he was 12, I didn’t think printing JV names was allowed.
    Please fix….

    Robert Shelby, 27, and Semaj Williams, 12, both of Minneapolis, have been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary for the July 20 incident.

  7. Tony says:

    Check out this POS Robert Shelbys criminal record on http://www.mncriminals.com (free to register to the public).He should have never been out on the street to begin with.The other one is young yet so he only had a 1st degree robbery.

  8. Goob says:

    Make these guys go into the lions area at the zoo. Do not let them out!! We will save money on lion food for a day!! That is actually more than they are worth.

  9. MCB says:

    The hate written in these comments is amazing and so disappointing. This is a very sad situation for a family that was a victim of a terrible crime. Please stop using this forum to anonymously (cowardice) spread your hate. Shockingly pathetic.

  10. liam Gilmorasy says:

    Leave racism out of it…
    Leave all matters of ethnicity out of it…
    Leave income brackets out of it…..
    If all you have are numbers to deal with then we can play with the math.
    And forget about just one city or community .. let’s view the nation as a whole.
    All cities have their safe and not so safe areas.
    And people of all races commit heinous crimes of violence.
    What is left are merely matters of probability.
    Based on violent crimes committed across the nation do a bit of homework and see if you can find enough statistical data to draw your own inference.
    Leave opinion out of it … just deal with the math.
    Then talk about realities and true probabilities based on existing trends.
    There are a 1000 analogies to this situation.
    While what happened in Norway was horrific, God willing, it was an anomaly, while what occurs in this country on a daily basis is a matter of accepted course.
    There have been more deaths caused by violent crime in the United States in 2004 alone than in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
    11,600 to violent crime.. and untold thousands injured.
    Now look up demographics for criminals and victims.
    Your stomach will hurt.
    Politicians won’t touch this one.. not a bit.

  11. nananananananana STATMAN says:

    Statistics don’t lie… Personally, before reading these stories, I tend to guess (more assume) that the suspects are indeed African-American. Hoping to be wrong to prove to myself that there is still hope for their race as a WHOLE, I find myself more right than wrong. Now, it is obvious (hopefully to everyone) that the simple fact these men were black DID NOT cause this crime (anyone could’ve), at the end of the day they are and statistics are a big and fair cause to stereotypes..

    1. Cindy Roberts says:

      Agree 100%!

      1. Mike Hawk says:

        Yes I also agree.

  12. ez says:

    Right now there is most likely a grand jury that is working on bringing first degree murder charges against both of these fools. Any time you cause someones death while committing burglary of an occupied dwelling it is first degree murder. They only charged them with second so they could hold them.

  13. Cindy Roberts says:

    Too bad he didn’t own a gun, We may have been hearing about a guy who is alive, after he shot two intruders. One being from Detroit I’m sure and the other probably from Chicago,

    Diversity hasn’t done a darn thing for me, other than hearing complaining or losing money on my home, or paying high taxes.

    1. Eric says:

      I’m from Detroit. I haven’t murdered anyone. I know mahy black people that haven’t murdered anyone. In fact out of the hundreds I’ve met (Detroiters in fact) none have killed anyone.

      Know what? I met a white guy from Minnesota at church who spent 20 years in prison for murder.

      So much for your BS!

    2. I'm with Eric says:

      I’m from Chicago. I’m committed a crime – I’ve gone over the speed limit in my car. Oh, and I’ve texted while driving. But I haven’t committed drug- or violent crimes. So dump your stereotypes based on where people lived before moving to this racist state.

    3. worthless trash says:

      ‘m with you Cindy. Can you imagine waking up to see these 2 in your house?

  14. Eric says:

    How do you know they were on welfare? Welfare prevents crime because they aren’t desperate

  15. Eric says:

    Hey, when a Minnesotan commits a crime, should we blame ALL minnesotans? Because the vast majority of crimes in Minnesota are commited by Minnesotans. How about that white Christian right wing Christian who killed 90 people in Norway? How about we profile all white Christian conservatives? How far can we take this?

    Oh, but its “rational” to blame an entire race for crimes individuals make, unless its YOUR group, right?

    1. Avrage joe says:

      Wow Eric, this has got you pretty upset doesn’t it? Maybe you should go back to the “D” & take your cousins wit cha…

  16. Bill says:

    What’s welfare got to do with it?, Turn off Faux news!

  17. Brerwster says:

    Poor people may commit crimes to survive but murder is a violence issue, I think some races are more prone to violence, Ask Darwin, Maybe he has the answers?

  18. Mike Hawk says:

    Oh come now children. It’ll all be over soon & then after several months, maybe years we’ll all be the same color. GREY. That is the color of dust, isn’t it?

  19. sad says:

    Breaking and entering is a choice. Packing a gun is a choice. Defending one’s self is a choice. Many bad choices here started by two men who’ve been making bad choices for a while and for some reason yet unknown broke into a house. Spindoctor what you want, but they weren’t invited over for dinner.

  20. Avrage joe says:

    I love your candor, but what can we do about the problem?

  21. KegHead says:

    Sounds like the most dangerous city in the USA…St. Louis.

  22. jeff says:

    i have to agree, if this poor guy had owned a handgun he’d probably be alive. but judging by our justice system the families of a the slain intruder probably would have sued and won. and how is this kind of crime rare anyway?

  23. Jim Saporito says:

    They always have previous violent offenses; they’ve always been in and out of the criminal just-a-system. I’m getting on my representatives website and leaving another note “keep violent offenders in jail, take them off the playground the FIRST time they offend and keep them off unless we know FOR SURE they can be let back on… and STOP overcrowding prisons with non-violent offenders, people with drug problems, etc.” I don’t get more long winded than that because they just take it and put it in a pile marked “prison reform” or something like that – but if enough of us did it, things would change. But it will take A LOT of us.

  24. Jim Saporito says:

    You know — you could avoid “racist comments” by just advocating for keeping violent offenders in jail, who ever they are. You’d achieve more of what you want, either way. Racist comments, whether honest arguments or not, go nowhere and actually make things worse (even if you were right).

  25. Redneck Purist says:

    Proof that you can teach a monkey to shoot a gun.

    1. agreed says:

      Sad thats about the only thing.

  26. dan says:

    Too bad the victim didnt have a gun and we could bury these 2, 6 feet under rather than waste money on a trial. Guilty! Next……………

    1. The Architect says:

      Definitely too bad. However, I’m happy he was able to at least leave his mark with the knife before they gunned him down. He went down fighting like a man at least. Not like these cowards who committed the crime.

  27. The Architect says:

    I have black friends who do dress and act like that, and I have black friends who don’t. Guess which ones of them have the better jobs and lives?

  28. Randy says:

    If I shoot a hole in my wall defending my life against one of these perps will my home insurance cover it? Is there a rider I can add?

  29. Hank says:

    The fact that you have a fear of an entire race of people means you are a terrible coward. The fact that you “hope all of the white apologists get a visit” from criminals means you are hoping more people are killed by criminals as this brave man was.

    1. bring it says:

      I am not scared of an entire race.

      Fight crime, shoot back. Thats my motto.

  30. Hank says:

    You have black friends? Do they call you a friend? I am surprised you have any friends considering the things you are typing

    1. just sayin says:

      Hank I have a lot more friends than you could possibly believe.

      I also speak the facts. Blacks cause more crimes than whites.

    2. The Architect says:

      Yes and yes.

  31. blackie says:

    you people need to shut up,because the killing that white people have done to other races do not compare to what races are doing these days.you people brought evli to this world so know deal with it or clean it up.

  32. we says:

    I say rip off their eyelids and then sand blast their face!!!!!

  33. Truths says:

    come on now, you know when white people commit violent crimes all they “comment” on here is “that’s a shame, send him to jail for life..death penalty etc etc etc”…But If it is anyone of color its immediately “send those (insert minority race here) back to where they came from we don’t need them!”..Nothing changes, Had it been two white guys that did this there would be 5 comments top. Its a fact white people are the most racist people on earth. (look at the wars, hate crimes, statistics)..Whitey, you funny.