Juvenile charged in fatal shooting in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood

A 17-year-old boy has been criminally charged in connection with a fatal shooting last month in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.

According to a juvenile petition filed Tuesday in Ramsey County, Deshawn Houston of St. Paul faces two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder.

As previously reported, the shooting happened just before 11 p.m. on March 14 near the intersection of Wilson Avenue and English Street.

According to the St. Paul Police Department, officers initially responded to a report of gunfire and cars leaving the area. An unoccupied vehicle that looked like it had been damaged in a crash was left at the scene.

Less than a mile northwest from there, near the intersection of Minnehaha Avenue and Frank Street, officers stopped a vehicle that was driving erratically. A man inside the car, 23-year-old Devon Johnson of Minneapolis, was wounded from an apparent shooting, police said.

Officers gave Johnson first aid and called for medics, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Charging documents state that the person who was in the car with Johnson that night — identified in the juvenile petition as Z.M.P. — told police that he had arranged to sell marijuana to a man at 1300 Wilson Avenue. Johnson drove Z.M.P. to that address to sell 38 grams of weed for $300. Two people approached the car — Houston and the man who was set to buy the drugs.

At one point, Houston pointed a gun at Z.M.P. and told him to hand over the marijuana. Z.M.P. told police he grabbed the gun while Houston was pointing it at Johnson. The gun went off during a struggle, and Johnson drove away, according to the juvenile petition.

Z.M.P. said Johnson crashed into a couple of vehicles before coming to a stop. That’s when Z.M.P. says he moved Johnson to the back seat and tried to get him to the hospital. He was stopped a short distance away on Minnehaha Avenue.

The person who had planned the meetup with Z.M.P. — identified in the petition as D.H.M. — was later taken into police custody for questioning. He told investigators he did not know Houston would try to rob Z.M.P. and yelled at him to stop when he pulled out a gun. However, a woman who rents an apartment near the shooting scene and referred to D.H.M. as “her brother” said D.H.M., Houston and two others had plotted a robbery that night.

The complaint states Houston was arrested in St. Cloud on March 29, along with one of the men who was allegedly with Houston the night of the shooting. Police recovered several cellphones and a firearm during the arrest, but the gun did not match the description of the shiny revolver used on March 14.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to have Houston certified as an adult.