3 charged in Columbia Heights fatal shooting of 22-year-old man; 2 at large and considered public safety, flight risks

On Thursday, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office announced charges filed against three men in connection with the Monday night shooting death of 22-year-old Charles Ray Mosby Jr. in Columbia Heights.

The sheriff’s office says 19-year-old Dominic Sampson has been charged with second-degree murder, with intent, not premeditated; 22-year-old Brandon Kron is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder; and 21-year-old Cashmere Smith is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint, at about 10:36 p.m. on Aug. 24, officers from the Columbia Heights Police Department and Anoka County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a shooting which had taken place outside of a strip mall located on the 4600 block of Central Avenue.

Once on scene, officers located Mosby, who had been shot several times in the back. He was transported to North Memorial Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

17-year-old girl, 22-year-old man killed in metro area shootings

After viewing surveillance video from several businesses along the strip mall, officers witnesses several men loitering in the area of the Totem Superette. The complaint states one of the men, later identified as Smith, grabbed a handgun from a nearby vehicle and gave it to Kron, who then gave it back to Smith a short time later.

Then, at about 10:15 p.m., video footage captured Mosby arriving at the location. According to the complaint, Mosby exchanged greetings with several people, including Smith and Sampson. The complaint states the greetings appeared to be "quite amicable." Ten minutes later, the footage shows Kron hand a gun to Sampson, who then put the gun into his pocket.

Despite no apparent conflict of any kind being visible on the footage, when Mosby turned to leave the area at 10:33 p.m., Sampson pulled the gun from his pocket and shot Mosby in the back several times at a very close range, according to police. The three suspects then ran to nearby cars to flee the area; Smith and Sampson went in a vehicle together that was driven by Smith, and Kron left in a vehicle by himself.

In the late evening hours the next day, Aug. 25, Kron was apprehended by police. He initially denied any knowledge of the incident, but after he was confronted with witness statements and surveillance video, he later admitted to knowing all suspects in the case. He told police they were all present at the time of the shooting, and that guns were present. However, the complaint states Kron denied any knowledge of the shooting itself.

Kron made his first appearance in Anoka County District Court on Thursday. He is being held on $500,000 bail and was ordered to surrender his gun permit.

Police say both Smith and Sampson are both at large at this time and have warrants issued for their arrests. Smith is believed to have fled to the Gary, Indiana area, where he has several relatives. Sampson was also identified as allegedly pistol-whipping an individual in Brooklyn Park on the evening of Aug. 25. They both are being considered as public safety and flight risks.

Anyone with information for investigators can contact the sheriff’s office at 763-427-1212.