20-year-old Bethel man fatally shot on St. Paul’s Raspberry Island; family, friends look for answers | KSTP.com

20-year-old Bethel man fatally shot on St. Paul’s Raspberry Island; family, friends look for answers

20-year-old Bethel man fatally shot on St. Paul’s Raspberry Island; family, friends look for answers

Eric Chaloux
Updated: August 30, 2021 07:03 PM
Created: August 30, 2021 12:36 PM

St. Paul Police have identified 20-year-old Blake Richard Swanson, of Bethel, as the man fatally shot early Sunday morning on Raspberry Island in St. Paul.

While sitting in a car on the island, the suspect climbed in, pulled a gun, robbed a female and shot Swanson, according to St. Paul Police.

Investigators were told a group of people went to the island to ride around on some rental scooters before the shooting.

"He'd call every morning. That's what I'm going to miss, his calls. We had a 'bromance,'" said Evan Meide, Swanson's friend. "He always had a smile on his face."

St. Paul police are investigating four homicides in a matter of 36 hours since early Sunday morning.

Chief Todd Axtell said they’ve called in extra investigators who had been off to help with the cases.

"What I can say? Cops are tired. It's really heartbreaking," St. Paul Police Sgt. Natalie Davis told reporters. "It's deeply concerning, not just for us cops being stretched thin and overworked."

Davis said police are noticing the increased violence in the community.

"We need to put a stop to this violence. We all feel that," Davis said.

St. Paul Police report 151 shooting victims this year, compared with 137 at this point in 2020, a 10% increase. There have been 1,497 reports of shots being fired in St. Paul this year, a 3% increase over the 1,457 incidents reported by the end of August 2020.

There have been 22 homicides this year, a slight increase over the 21 at this time last year, according to the department.

"He was welcoming, the most-friendly, person you could walk up to, if you wanted to know something about him he'd tell you," Meide said.

As for one of the victim's friends, he looks forward to getting a call that Swanson's shooter is caught.

“I want to know," Meide said. "He was welcoming, the most friendly, person you could walk up to."

If you have any information about Swanson or the other victim’s homicides, you can submit an anonymous tip online via CrimeStoppers.


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