Watertown man arrested, charged in fatal St. Paul shooting
A Watertown man has been arrested in connection to the shooting death of a man in St. Paul Friday night.
St. Paul police said 24-year-old Anthony J. Trifiletti was arrested for the shooting near U.S. Highway 61 and Burns Avenue, which killed 39-year-old Douglas C. Lewis, of St. Paul.
HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION UPDATE:— Saint Paul Police Department (@sppdmn) May 4, 2020
Anthony J. Trifiletti, 24, of Watertown, Minn., was arrested for murder Saturday in the shooting that took place near the intersection of U.S. Highway 61 and Burns Avenue Friday night.
He is suspected of killing Douglas C. Lewis, 39, of St. Paul.
Officers were called to the intersection at about 9:25 p.m. Friday.
The department said a preliminary investigation indicates the two men were involved in a traffic crash just west of the intersection. Both drivers got out of their vehicles, argued, and then one of the drivers shot the other and left as bystanders rendered aid to the man on the road.
Lewis was taken to a hospital but he later died in surgery, police said. No weapon was found on him.
According to a criminal complaint, officers found Trifiletti near the scene, and he told officers he had a handgun in the glove box.
The complaint states Trifiletti told police his GPS instructed him to exit onto Burns Avenue from Highway 61, and when he turned right the right rear corner of his vehicle was bumped from behind.
He told police he pulled to the side of the road and Lewis began to yell at him. Fearing Lewis might have a weapon, Trifiletti told police he told his friends in another truck to leave. Lewis then got out of his car and Trifiletti shot him several times. The complaint states officers found four 9mm shell casings on the ground in the area.
A witness told police Trifiletti and Lewis were at least 10 feet from each other at the time of the shooting and she didn't see anything in Lewis's hands. After the shooting, the witness help render aid to Lewis, the complaint states.
Trifiletti later told police a Ford hit his vehicle from behind, and they pulled to the side of the road. He said he talked to Lewis and asked for his insurance information but Lewis yelled that he wanted Trifiletti's information.
After asking again for Lewis's insurance information, Trifiletti said Lewis yelled something about a gang that Trifiletti didn't understand. Trifiletti then said he walked back to his truck and grabbed his 9mm handgun to put in his waistband holster. Lewis then started to pull away in his vehicle and Trifiletti did, too, but said he unintentionally followed Lewis.
According to the complaint, Trifiletti said Lewis then stopped his vehicle, got out and put his hand under his shirt. That's when Trifiletti said he fired his gun three or four times at Lewis because he was afraid he was going to die. Trifiletti then left the scene, called his father and told him what happened. He said his father told him to go back to the scene, so he did.
Trifiletti also told police he didn't think just driving away was an option because he though Lewis would shoot at him.
Trifiletti is charged with second-degree murder.