By Kate Raddatz

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — In St. Paul, police are investigating two separate homicides from over the weekend.

A 65-year-old man was found dead in an apartment complex Sunday morning. Then another man was found dead in a car Sunday night from a gunshot wound.

It was a deadly weekend — and year — in the city. Police continue to investigate the 25th and 26th homicides in St. Paul in 2019.

Childhood friends of the victim in Sunday’s shooting left balloons and flowers near where police found evidence at the corner of Central Avenue and Kent Street. Neighbors told WCCO they heard several gunshots back-to-back after 11 p.m. Sunday. A driver was found dead and another victim was hurt from broken glass.

The crime is the 23rd homicide that involved guns this year. It’s something St. Paul police and city leaders have tried to address in recent months with increased patrol officers, regular gang and gun unit meetings, and a five-step plan announced in September.

“This has to stop right now,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “St. Paul, as with our country, has been in a cycle of violence for far too long. It goes beyond this year — it goes back many, many years.”

But St. Paul police say this year has been the worst for homicides in at least a decade.

There were 112 people struck by gun fire by mid-October in 2018. This year, that number was 135.

The cause of death in a separate murder case at an apartment in Como Park is still under investigation. Police did arrest a woman in connection to the case but she has not yet been charged.

Monday afternoon, Mayor Carter announced three community meetings scheduled for November. He says he wants to discuss public safety in the city.

Kate Raddatz