2nd man charged in killing of former Central High basketball star

A second suspect is facing criminal charges in connection with the killing of a former Central High School basketball star during a robbery attempt last week in St. Paul.

Court documents show D’Angelo Semaj Dampier, 19, is accused of helping conceal the gun Xavion Bell allegedly used to kill 21-year-old Dion Ford Jr. on Thursday outside a store in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood.

Dampier is charged with one count of aiding an offender along with three counts of being a felon in possession of firearms or ammunition. Bell, 21, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court states Bell had followed Ford out of a restaurant near Maryland Avenue West and Arundel Street and to Ford’s car.

Bell was captured on surveillance footage leaning inside Ford’s car, at which point Ford drew a handgun and shot at Bell, who fired back and shot at least a dozen more rounds at Ford’s “lifeless body.” Bell is then seen handing the gun over to Dampier.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the Dampier and another person helping Bell into a Chevrolet Cruze. Officers stopped them from driving off, the complaint states, but Dampier got out of the car and “slipped away.”

Medics took Bell to Regions Hospital in critical condition. Ford, who had a permit to carry a firearm, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police executed a search warrant on Dampier’s home Monday and found a backpack containing handgun magazines, loaded ammunition and loose rounds. Prosecutors say Dampier has a prior robbery conviction and is not allowed to be in possession of weapons or ammo.

Police took Dampier into custody, and he eventually admitted to taking a gun Bell had handed him and hiding it away “to protect Bell.” He also said he shot back when he saw Ford shoot at Bell and “fired until his 9mm handgun’s magazine was empty.”

Dampier told investigators he brought home the guns he and Bell fired and that someone he didn’t know came by to take the guns away to protect the two of them.

Dampier remains in custody at the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center, and his bail has been set at $500,000. His first court appearance is set for Wednesday morning.