Charges: Man shot teen with ‘ghost gun’ during firearm sale, fled to Illinois

A St. Paul man charged with shooting a teenager earlier this month has been arrested in Illinois after nearly three weeks on the run.

Twenty-one-year-old Emmanuel Galen Johnson is charged with aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery, aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.

Avon police and Stearns County deputies responded to a shooting report near the 300 block of Char Avenue Northeast just before 9:30 a.m. on March 8. An 18-year-old was found with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was airlifted to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale for treatment.

The shooting also led to a brief lockdown at nearby Avon Elementary School.

Investigators learned the shooting happened inside a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu with a Texas license plate, a criminal complaint states. When authorities tracked down the man who was driving the Malibu, he said “Smurf,” identified as Johnson, shot the victim during a gun sale.

The man continued, saying he’d helped Johnson find a buyer for his “ghost gun” and then set up a meeting with the victim. During the meeting, the complaint states the victim sat in the back seat of the Malibu while Johnson and the driver were in the front.

After getting the money from the victim, Johnson shot him, the driver told law enforcement. The victim later confirmed the meeting, the complaint states, saying Johnson and the driver wanted all of his money and shot him before he could flee.

The complaint notes that the bullet Johnson’s gun fired stayed inside the victim, seriously injuring him and requiring surgery.

Johnson was charged via warrant three days after the shooting. He was finally arrested on March 26 in Harvey, Illinois, a southern suburb of Chicago.

The sheriff’s office says Johnson remains in custody at the Cook County Jail in Illinois as he awaits extradition to Minnesota.

His first court date hasn’t yet been set.