St. Paul Man Indicted for Moonshine Saloon Drive-By Shooting

Updated: 02/06/2014 3:39 PM
Created: 02/06/2014 2:22 PM
By: Megan Stewart

A 31-year-old man has been indicted for 14 felonies in connection to a drive-by shooting in St. Paul that left one person dead and two others injured outside the Moonshine Saloon in October.

On Wednesday, the Ramsey County Grand Jury indicted True Thao of St. Paul for two counts of premeditated first degree murder, two counts of murder in the first degree while committing a drive-by shooting and two counts of murder in the second degree. Thao was also indicted on eight counts of attempted murder for the shooting of two other victims.

According to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner, 27-year-old Adlai Xiong, of Minneapolis, died from a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the criminal complaint, Xiong and two others had gone outside the back of the bar to smoke when they saw a black Acura traveling south on Duluth Street. The car came to a stop 15 to 20 feet from the group and, without a word, opened fire with a Tec-9 with an extended clip, the complaint said.

Xiong had told at least one of the other victims to get down, the complaint said. When she got up, she could see Xiong was bleeding from his head.

The bar was locked down after one of the bouncers became aware of the situation, the complaint said.

Each of the victims suffered three gunshot wounds a piece. Officers recovered 12 shell casings from the scene, the complaint said.

The two injured victims were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Surveillance from the bar showed Thao looking into the VIP room shortly before leaving the bar, the complaint said. Further investigation showed that Thao and his group had been at a birthday party before going to the bar, the complaint said.

After the incident, Thao had apparently gone to a 19-year-old friend's house to clean his car, the complaint said. The friend, who was at a funeral at the time, got a phone call from his wife saying Thao was acting strange. The friend left the funeral and came home to find Thao sitting in his Acura, wearing sunglasses and seemingly drunk.

Thao then apparently told the friend that something bad had gone down, the complaint said. Police also interviewed the man who drove the friend home from the funeral. According to the complaint, the driver overheard Thao say he had shot some people and had emptied a mag on them.

Thao has a prior conviction for attempted murder in 2000 for the benefit of a gang when he shot a rival member who had beaten him, the complaint said.

Thao faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all three charges.

Deadly shooting took place outside the Moonshine Saloon.
Photo: KSTP/File

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