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2 teens in custody, charged in deadly gun mishap in St. Paul

Updated: November 08, 2019 09:00 PM

Two teens are in custody and charged in connection to the fatal shooting that left a 17-year-old dead in St. Paul Wednesday, according to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.

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Second-degree manslaughter charges were filed against two males, ages 15 and 16, and prosecutors are seeking to have them certified as adults in criminal court.

The family has identified the victim as 17-year-old  Da'Qwan Jones-Morris.

A St. Paul Police Department spokesperson said officers were called at about 3:30 p.m. to the 100 block of East Annapolis Street. First responders found Jones-Morris in the basement with gunshot wounds to his upper torso and his lower left torso. He was pronounced dead at his home.

UPDATE: Family says teen killed in St. Paul shooting was 'star athlete'

 A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old were then taken into custody and charged with a crime Thursday.

When investigators interviewed the 16-year-old Wednesday night, the boy said he and the 15-year-old went to Jones-Morris's house to play video games and "hopefully smoke marijuana." The 16-year-old said he had a gun in his shoulder bag when they went to the basement of the home. While they were in the basement, he said the 15-year-old wasn't aware the gun was loaded and accidentally shot Jones-Morris.

It also states the 16-year-old told a dispatcher he had stolen the gun on Oct. 31 after seeing a person passed out in a vehicle with the gun on the front passenger seat. The teen said he took the gun from the vehicle and kept it in his shoulder bag.

When investigators spoke with the 15-year-old later, the teen said the boys were about to play the video game "Madden" when the gun accidentally went off, the petition states.

After initially stating he found the gun in some bushes, the 15-year-old also admitted that the 16-year-old brought it to the basement. The 15-year-old told police he was playing with the gun, racking the slide and pulling the trigger, as well as pointing a laser sight. The petition states the 15-year-old said the 16-year-old then put the magazine back in the gun and handed it back to him, and when he started playing with it again, the gun went off and Jones-Morris was hit. The 15-year-old said he didn't know the gun was loaded and said the shooting was an accident.

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night on the campus of Henry Sibley High School, where Jones-Morris was a senior and set to graduate in May. His older brother spoke to the crowd and said he would accept the diploma in his baby brother's honor.

"I miss my little bro," he said.

Derrick Mallet, Jones-Morris' assistant basketball coach at Henry Sibley High School the past three years, had nothing but positive things to say about the teen. 

"Da'Qwan was the ultimate teammate. Everyone from the coaching staff to his teammates loved and respected him, if you were having a rough day as an individual Qwan's smile or goofy joke could make your day a whole lot better, there was just a positive aura that surrounded that kid and made you enjoy his company," Mallet said. 

"Long live Da'Qwan aka 1K, what all his teammates called him when he hit a [three-pointer]."

The shooting marks the 28th homicide of the year in St. Paul, police said.

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Beth McDonough & Tommy Wiita

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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