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St. Paul mayor to hold meeting after city hits highest number of homicides in decades

Updated: November 07, 2019 09:24 AM

Thursday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter will host the first in a series of meetings to address gun violence in the city.

The meeting comes on the heels of another violent day in St. Paul.

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Police were at the scene of two shootings in less than two hours on Wednesday.

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Police said when they arrived at the scene along the 100 block of East Annapolis Street at about 3:30 p.m., they found a teen with a gunshot wound. The teen, identified as 17-year-old Da'Qwan Jones-Morris, was reported dead at the scene.

Two people were brought in for questioning, police said, but investigators are still working to determine whether it was an accidental shooting.

Police taped off a residence as they collected evidence at the scene.

A family member of Da'Qwan said he was a senior in high school and a star athlete on the Henry Sibley football team. He was about to go on college visits.

The family member said Da'Qwan was shot in his bedroom and that there were two other kids there.

Police haven't disclosed who owned the gun at the scene, saying that remains under investigation. 

No arrests had been made by early Thursday morning.

"I think this underscores the need for us as a community to come together and end gun violence of any kind, whether that is securing your weapons in your home, whether that's making sure your weapons aren't stolen, or calling us if you know who is carrying guns illegally in the city, and certainly, who is shooting them," Steve Linders, spokesman with the St. Paul Police Department, said.

St. Paul Police chief on combating gun violence: 'Reassigning officers, working closer with feds'

Meanwhile, police are investigating a second shooting in St. Paul that occurred Thursday around 4:45 p.m. at a gas station along East Seventh Street.

The shooting involved people in two different vehicles who were reportedly arguing just before the shooting took place. 

A man in one vehicle pulled a gun on the other vehicle and started shooting in the middle of the parking lot, a source told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. A U.S. marshal happened to be at the gas station, identified himself, and confronted the suspect. 

"A man identified himself as a U.S. marshal and shot the man on the ground," the source said.

In a statement Wednesday night, the BCA said the marshal wasn't hurt. The person shot was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation. Agents, along with other U.S. marshals and officers from the St. Paul Police Department, surrounded the scene collected surveillance video and other evidence.

The city has had 28 homicides this year, according to police, the highest number in 23 years. According to police data, the next highest number of homicides was 30 in 1996. The highest in recent years was 34 in 1992.

Meanwhile, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the city has "hit a record high with 24 homicides involving guns, and that is the most in the history of this department."

Carter's first community meeting on gun violence in the city is expected to take place Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Baptist Church on Roy Street.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates following the meeting.

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