Man sentenced to 4 years for killing man at St. Paul bus stop

A man convicted of fatally shooting another man at a bus stop in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood has been sentenced.

Court records show Lazarus Lamar Burns II was sentenced Monday to four years in prison, with credit for 180 days already served.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Burns entered a guilty plea to one count of second-degree manslaughter in November for the death of 30-year-old Jermaine Ray John Baker.

Burns was initially charged with manslaughter, two counts of second-degree murder, illegally possessing a firearm without a permit as well as endangerment for the crime, which happened last summer at the intersection of Third Street East and Earl Street.

RELATED: St. Paul police investigating fatal shooting in Dayton’s Bluff neighborhod

Multiple witnesses told police that Baker got off a bus and ran up to a man and woman at the bus stop in July 2023, court documents state. Baker then reportedly started assaulting the woman, knocking her to the ground and “smashing her face in,” according to one witness’s account.

When Baker finally stopped hitting the woman — later identified as his ex-girlfriend — that’s when witnesses and surveillance video showed Burns fire multiple shots at Baker, who started running away before collapsing in the street.

A criminal complaint states that surveillance video reviewed by police showed Baker appearing to look for someone before he bolted off the bus. Eight seconds elapsed from when Baker reached the woman to the time he was back in the street, the document adds.

When police talked to the woman, she noted she had been dating Baker on and off for four years but started dating Burns a few days ago. She added that Baker routinely assaulted her but she never reported it, and during the assault at the bus stop, she heard Burns telling Baker to chill out before she heard the gunshots.

The complaint adds that the woman had a swollen face and multiple bumps on her head.

Burns told police that he didn’t know Baker but heard him say, “This my (expletive), bro,” as he started assaulting the woman. Charging documents state that Burns told officers he’s seen men abuse women several times in his life and when he saw Baker attack his girlfriend he “blacked out” and shot him. He also noted he had a permit to carry from Wisconsin.