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Man accused in fatal shooting after vehicle crash in St. Paul to appear in court

Updated: October 22, 2019 05:35 PM

A man accused of shooting and killing another man trying to help after a crash in St. Paul is expected to appear in court Wednesday.

Twenty-seven-year-old Lionel Keejuan Eaton, of Roseville, is now charged with murder.

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Man charged in connection to fatal St. Paul shooting that occurred after vehicle crash

Investigators say Eaton shot 31-year-old Javier Sanmiguel, from St. Paul, after a crash at Case Avenue East and Edgerton Street Monday night.

Witnesses say Sanmiguel was one of several people who tried to help after the crash when Eaton was accused of shooting him.

St. Paul police investigate 3 homicides in span of 9 hours

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said he's more resolved than ever to invest in the police department and take all approaches necessary to fix this problem.

His comments were in response to a recent surge in violence in the city.

There have been more than 100 people shot and 17 killed in shootings so far this year.

"These senseless deaths have taken something sacred from our community and that's our sense of security," Police Chief Todd Axtell said.

Axtell said the department is doing everything possible to address this issue, taking an "all hands on deck" approach, together with city leaders.

Effective immediately, city leaders are calling in more officers for shifts and creating a task force to focus on gang investigations.

People who live close to the recent crime scenes said they are fed up and that gun violence has stolen their neighborhoods. They said they want to see serious action being taken against those involved.

"I am not going to coddle these kids," Dora Jones Robinson, of St. Paul, said. "I am not going to be talking about reform, because we done tried to help them, we gave resources out here to give them, we did everything we could to change their lives. And, if they still want to live by the gun they need to go to jail. And, I am sorry, that's how I feel." 

Axtell and Carter agree that there isn't one single solution to the larger problem here.

They said they believe boosting the police department can help but they are also asking for the public to take an active role in reporting illegal activity, so they can try to get ahead of the issue.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story identified the victim as Javier Yanez. An obituary and GoFundMe has since identified him as Javier Sanmiguel. 

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