St. Paul community activist battles to keep going amid violence

Updated: November 11, 2019 06:08 PM

The latest murder on Rice Street over the weekend happened down the way from Dora Jones-Robinson's Mentoring Young Adults office in St. Paul.

Jones-Robinson has been helping youth find work, housing and mental health help on Rice Street for 14 years.


"It’s actually devastating to see that there's no relief in sight,” Jones-Robinson said. “That the trauma and pain and the shootings are continuing to happen."

New funding concerns are leading Jones-Robinson to postpone a gun summit set for later this month. It would have been her third event for youth in St. Paul.

"We really have to focus on changing the mindset of these young people," she said. "The only place we'll be able to do that is from a community standpoint, people who are on the ground and able to talk to these young people." 

More from KSTP: 

Murder spike in St. Paul leads to community meeting to address violence

St. Paul police investigating Sunday night shooting that left 1 dead

She hopes as city leaders debate how to handle the surge in homicides and shootings, that more funding comes to community groups.

"Otherwise we're going to go through this vicious cycle," Jones-Robinson said. "I hear the cries, I get the phone calls late at night."

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is considering amending his public safety budget to address the surge in gun violence in the city.

Police have yet to release the name of the man found shot to death inside a car Sunday evening on the 900 Block of Rice Street.

Hours later, also on Rice Street, a man reported being shot near Sherburne Street in the Capitol Heights Neighborhood.

The victim arrived at a nearby hospital in a bullet-riddled SUV, police said.

No arrests have been made in either shooting.

St. Paul police do not believe the two shootings Sunday are connected.

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Eric Chaloux

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