By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Neighbors are rattled after a man was shot and killed Wednesday night while he was leaving church with his family in St. Paul.

Paramedics were not able to save 41-year-old Rayvell Carter of Roseville. His death marks the 20th homicide in the capital city this year, and the sixth in just 17 days.

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The sound of gunfire shattered the peace in the Summit-University neighborhood. Police say the fatal incident happened around 8:40 p.m. outside a church near the intersection of Aurora Avenue and St. Albans Street North.

“I didn’t know what to think and the neighbors, they didn’t know what to think either,” Mary Peeples said. “The only thing I know to do is pray.”

According to police, Carter was with his family praying and studying inside St. Albans Church of God. When he walked outside, he stepped into the line of fire.

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“It was a total of eight, I know exactly it was eight shots because I’m listening, and I run outside to see what’s going on and it hit me right away: ‘What are you doing, fool? Don’t you remember over a week ago someone being a Good Samaritan got killed?'” David Goodlow said.

Goodlow has lived on this block 51 years. What he saw after he heard gunshots, will live with him the rest of his days.

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“This little girl – just a terrifying picture I’ll never forget – running across the street saying, ‘They shot my dad, they shot my dad, they shot my dad,'” Goodlow said.

Police say the victim’s father, who had a permit to carry a weapon, fired back at the suspect. He then went looking for his son. Goodlow says his wife was in the kitchen when motion-sensor lights went on, and she told police.

“They walk to the rear of the house and I hear her scream, ‘They found the body at the rear of the house,'” Goodlow said.

Goodlow believes Carter was running for help. He is a distant relative and may have been trying to get inside, away from the gunfire.

“I’m willing, and I know my neighbors are willing to become involved,” Graham Butler said.

Neighbors are emotional but not afraid of fighting back against the violence that’s shattered their sense of security. Police do not believe this shooting is random. They think the victim was targeted but don’t know why.

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Anyone with information regarding the shooting should call St. Paul police.

Reg Chapman