MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two men have been charged in connection with a mass shooting at a St. Paul bar over the weekend that left one woman dead and 14 people injured.
Charges were filed Monday in Ramsey County against 33-year-old Terry Brown and 29-year-old Devondre Phillips. Brown faces one count of second-degree murder and 11 counts of second-degree attempted murder. Phillips faces twelve counts of second-degree attempted murder.
If convicted of the charges, the men face decades behind bars.
According to a criminal complaint, Phillips fired the first shot just after midnight Sunday inside the Seventh Street Truck Park. He shot a man twice in the stomach. The victim was later arrested by police; he has yet to be officially charged.
As chaos broke out inside the bar, Phillips fired another shot at Brown, and Brown fired back. A gun battle erupted between the two.
Marquisha Wiley, 27, was caught in the crossfire. She died at the scene. Investigators say that surveillance video showed that Brown shot her in the back as he was shooting at Phillips.
When police officers arrived at the bar, they found a man carrying Wiley over his shoulder outside. As first responders got her on the ground to aid her, Wiley’s pulse faded in a matter of seconds. Medics loaded her into an ambulance and she was pronounced dead. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died of gunshot wound to her back that penetrated her left lung and heart.
The other victims were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Their injuries ranged from grazes to gunshot wounds to their arms, legs and feet; they are all expected to survive. Good Samaritans worked with police to help victims as paramedics drove to the scene.
Hours after the shooting on Sunday, police announced that three suspects were in custody, being treated at a hospital for injuries suffered during the shootout. One of the suspects was the first man hit. Phillips and Brown both suffered gunshot wounds.
In an interview with investigators, Brown said that Phillips shot at him first, so he pulled out a gun and fired back. He said that he and Phillips are in a dispute over allegations of domestic abuse.
Additionally, Brown acknowledged that he is ineligible to carry a firearm, the complaint states. According to prosecutors, Brown has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for aggravated robbery, drug possession and domestic abuse violations.
When Phillips spoke with investigators, he initially denied being part of the shooting. He said he felt targeted in the bar, but told police he had no memory of the shooting or having a gun. He only remembered the pain and the sound of gunshots. He told investigators had was shot five times and has a broken femurs. Prosecutors say he has no adult felony convictions, although he still has an adjudication for armed robbery that makes him ineligible to carry a gun.
Police have said this in an open and active investigation, and more arrests are possible.
Caution tape and police barricading the scene left by Monday afternoon. There were few reminders of what had happened there, except for some flowers. Peering through windows, most of the inside looked cleaned up. As dusk fell, a dozen people gathered outside and created a small memorial with flowers, candles and balloons. They paused for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the tragedy, including Wiley.
Miki Frost, who helped organize the vigil, said he urged friends and followers on social media to come to Seventh Street Truck Bar to show solidarity.
“I just wanted us to come together and stand together and let everyone know we can get through this,” Frost said. “St. Paul is still a beautiful, vibrant city”
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter calls the shooting heartbreaking and traumatic — saying it’s why the city has authorized $1 million in police overtime to this specific area.
“One of the things that we’re seeing is that our police officers can’t do it alone. This is about a community effort. That’s why we say we have to invest in people in new ways, we have to invest in areas in new ways and continue to push the ball on this expansive, coordinated approach of public safety,” Carter said.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement that his heart goes out to the friends and family of Marquisha Wiley. He added that the police and community need to work together to prevent and intervene in these situations before they occur.
Police say the motive for the shooting is still unclear. Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. Paul Police Department.
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