Charges: Suspect in St. Paul triple homicide claims he ‘saved’ victims by shooting them
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A St. Paul man faces multiple charges stemming from a triple homicide that happened in an east side neighborhood.
According to charges filed in Ramsey County, 26-year-old TeKeith Jones, from St. Paul, faces three counts of second-degree murder, with intent-not premeditated. If convicted of all three charges, Jones faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
A criminal complaint states around 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, officers were sent to the lower apartment located on the 700 block of Jessie Street in St. Paul. A 911 caller stated there were three people in the house and that there was blood everywhere.
The first officer to arrive at the house struggled to enter as one victim, later identified as 14-year-old La’Porsha Wallace, was lying in front of the door, unconscious and not breathing. Another two victims were seen in the house, face down. One victim, later identified as 11-year-old Ja’Corbie Wallace, was breathing but unconscious. Thirty-year-old D’Zondria D. Wallace, the two other victims’ mother, was also found unconscious and not breathing at the house, according to police.
An officer noticed that Ja’Corbie had been shot twice in his back. Several shell casings were found on the floor, later accumulating to 14 total spent shell casings being recovered.
Medics arrived and attempted medical assistance to both D’Zondria and La’Porsha but both were pronounced dead at the scene. Ja’Corbie was asked by first responders who shot him, to which he replied "Keith," indicating that Keith was D’Zondria’s boyfriend. Ja’Corbie was taken to the hospital where he had emergency surgery and later died at 6:18 p.m.
D’Zondria’s cousin confirmed to police she had been dating "a very short man named Keith who had tattoos all over his upper body."
The complaint states surveillance video from a neighbor’s home showed a man wearing dark clothing peeking outside the apartment about half an hour before the victims’ bodies were discovered. The man was seen going back inside before he ran out of the house toward a silver 2015 Jeep Compass that had damage to its right-front passenger side bumper and headlight. However, the Jeep did not have license plates on it.
Later on the same day, a Minnesota state trooper saw the suspect vehicle at Highway 61 and Burns Avenue. The trooper made contact with a slender, Black man who kept his head down most of the time. A man by the Jeep said he was out of gas, to which the trooper said he would return to help after he completed a call he was initially responding to. However, when the trooper returned, the man was gone and the Jeep’s keys were left on its driver’s seat. After the vehicle was towed, pictures of the Jeep were sent to St. Paul Police and investigators were able to confirm the vehicle that left the scene earlier in the day.
The owner of the Jeep told police that a man she knew as "Santana" took her Jeep without her permission earlier in the day. She said that she had dropped off Santana at two locations before — one in the same area of the 700 block of Jessie Street and in the 2100 block of Wilson Avenue.
Surveillance from the area of the 2100 block of Wilson Avenue showed the man who left the address on Jessie Street in the Jeep was met by a woman who let him into the building at around 5:12 p.m. Officers were able to identify the man as Jones. Police also identified the woman who let Jones into the building and learned her apartment number.
Officers later spoke with D’Zondria’s nephew, who said Jones was his aunt’s ex-boyfriend. The nephew added that Jones continued coming to his aunt’s house a lot even after they broke up. The complaint states the nephew last saw Jones in December when Jones broke in through a kitchen window. He allegedly swung D’Zondria around and he accused her of seeing other men. After eventually calming down, Jones became upset again the next morning and shot his pistol at D’Zondria. The nephew told police he thought Jones was trying to hit her, but he missed his shot.
Jones was noted to always carry a black semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, according to the nephew. He added that D’Zondria started to see someone else on Jan. 10.
"There were no warning signs. They seemed both happy together. He went to family outings with us, which makes it even worse that somebody we welcomed into our family broke our family apart," said Moesha Whitehall, Wallace’s cousin.
After police obtained and executed a search warrant at a residence located on the 2100 block of Wilson Avenue, there they arrested Jones on Sunday. Officers also located a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine in the bedroom closet. The handgun’s chamber was empty but it had rounds of ammunition in its magazine.
Investigators then spoke with Jones, who said he had been in Minnesota for about eight to 12 months. He added that his brother was killed a few months ago, to which he said he was "going through a life experience that he didn’t understand." He said he felt like he was being set up for his brother’s murder.
When police asked if he had killed the three victims, he denied having any part of it. However, Jones said he tried to keep D’Zondria from killing her own kids, further stating she was allegedly playing mind games and corrupting the kids.
"We’re feeling anger, frustration, even blaming ourselves at some points that we could have protected them better," Whitehall said. "I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. It’s been really hard. And now, knowing that we have to plan three funerals, it’s going to make it even more emotional for us."
When investigators asked Jones if he saved them by shooting them, Jones, while pointing upward, replied, "H— yeah, I saved them, they can go up there and be holy."
After initially stating he didn’t kill anyone, Jones admitted to shooting and killing them, adding that he didn’t know why he did, according to the complaint. He told police he "saved them," and added he’s "not a monster" and that he "kissed them all."
Jones also has a prior aggravated robbery conviction from Texas.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies on the three victims.
D’Zondria was shot twice, La’Porsha was shot 10 times and Ja’Corbie was shot five times. All of their deaths were ruled as homicides.
A GoFundMe has been created to help with family funeral expenses, the link can be found here.