16-year-old suspected of running from St. Paul drive-by shooting pleads guilty to illegally possessing pistol

A 16-year-old boy found with an automatic pistol shortly after a drive-by shooting last week in St. Paul is now facing weapons charges.

According to court officials, the teen pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing a pistol as a minor.

Three boys, ages 14, 16 and 17, were injured in a drive-by shooting on Friday at the Wellstone Community Center on the city’s West Side. Police say they were there for a funeral reception for Devin Scott, the 15-year-old student who was fatally stabbed at Harding High School two weeks prior.

Moments after shots were fired, a stolen white Hyundai Sonata crashed into a Mazda that was parked on a nearby street. The woman who owned the Mazda told police she saw three males “dig around” inside the Sonata, grab two handguns and run away, according to the juvenile petition. Several shell casings were found inside the vehicle.

About half a mile away from the crash scene, police saw a male running north on Wabasha Street. He slowed to a walk as a squad car approached him, but he did not stop until an officer addressed him, the petition states. He allegedly gave officers a false name and indicated he was coming from the east — where the shooting and crash transpired.

He had an object resembling a pistol in his pants and admitted he had a gun after an officer patted him down. However, he denied any involvement in the earlier drive-by shooting.

Police found a Glock .40 caliber pistol in the boy’s pocket that was modified with an auto switch. It had a live round in the chamber and an extended magazine with a capacity of 22 rounds, the petition states.

The 16-year-old is charged with one count each of possessing a machine gun and being a minor in possession of a firearm. Prosecutors did not indicate whether they would try to certify the defendant as an adult.