14-year-old girl dead, 3 others injured following shooting in St. Paul’s Greater East Side neighborhood
St. Paul police say they are now investigating the city’s 27th homicide this year after a girl died Wednesday night in a shooting that also injured three others.
According to police, officers were called to the area of Hazelwood Street and Maryland Avenue East around 7:45 p.m. when multiple people and a patrol officer heard shots being fired.
Eventually, officers found three victims — all teenage girls — injured by gunfire. The three teens were taken to Regions Hospital, where one of them died from their injuries.
She was identified by St. Paul Police on Thursday as 14-year-old Monica Holley. An autopsy will be done in order to determine her exact cause of death. Police say the other two girls have injuries that aren’t considered life-threatening.
Police also said a fourth person, identified as a 19-year-old woman, was injured by the shooting and turned up at an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“Monica was someone who people wanted to be around. She had strong opinions and was able to listen and be open to new ideas and accept help,” said Josh Reimnitz, the executive director of Breakthrough Twin Cities. The nonprofit helps prep students who want to go to college.
“It’s just so sad that it happens to anyone but certainly to a young teenage girl with a ton of promise, and full of joy who could always bring positivity to those around her,” he added.
A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS photographer at the scene Wednesday night got video of at least 35 evidence markers on the ground, many with shell casings next to them.
“It’s extremely senseless, this type of crime, I don’t have any words to describe it,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster of the St. Paul Police Department. “I cannot imagine what a family is going through right now. As a father myself, it’s unthinkable to have something like this happen. And for somebody to pull the trigger in our city and cause this young girl’s death, and to injure these other girls, is unfathomable.”
As of this time, police aren’t sure what led up to the shooting, and don’t know who is responsible for pulling the trigger, but they’re hoping someone will come forward and help bring closure to the girls’ families.
“It was a chaotic scene, there was a lot of 911 callers that were reporting the shots fired and I believe there were a lot of people out here also,” said Sgt. Ernster. “We do believe there’s witnesses we have not spoken to, and that’s why I’m asking for them, encouraging them, to call our investigators.”
If you have any information that may help police with their investigation, you’re asked to call 651-266-5650. Residents and business owners in the area are being asked to share any surveillance video they have to help police determine what happened.
Police haven’t yet announced any arrests or suspects.
Early Thursday afternoon, community members spoke out against gun violence. You can watch their full news conference in the video player below.