Charges: Robbery attempt during drug deal led to deadly Minneapolis shootout with toddler in back seat

A man is now facing robbery and assault charges after a deadly shooting last week in north Minneapolis.

Police were called to an alley near the intersection of Golden Valley Road and Russell Avenue North shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Friday on a report of a shooting during a robbery attempt. There, officers found 27-year-old Marlo Randy Phillips dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

The victim of the apparent robbery suffered serious injuries.

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Charging documents state that Phillips and 21-year-old Darnell Cornelius Lewis had gone to buy marijuana from the victim. Surveillance video captured them approach the vehicle, and Phillips entered the front passenger’s side of the victim’s sedan.

According to the charging documents, the sound of a muffled gunshot was then heard before Lewis ran to the side of the sedan and Phillips fell to the ground outside the sedan. The victim and Lewis also appeared to exchange gunshots briefly.

The victim of the robbery was able to drive himself to a hospital, and court records say his 1-year-old daughter was in the vehicle with him at the time. The man suffered five gunshot wounds, including a critical wound to the chest that required immediate surgery. He also had a portion of his intestines removed.

The victim talked to police the next day and admitted to selling marijuana because he lost his job. When he got to the meet-up spot, he said two men in masks came up to his car and one entered because his car’s auto-lock was broken, then immediately pointed a gun at him, court documents state.

He added that a fight ensued before shots were fired and he tried to drive away sooner but crashed as Lewis allegedly fired shots at him. Eventually, he escaped and made it to the hospital.

No injuries were reported to the toddler.

Lewis is charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and first-degree aggravated robbery. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 12.