ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A man has been charged in connection to the shooting death of 23-year-old Nia Black on June 13 in St. Paul, officials announced Tuesday.
James Jones Fields, 35, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection to the fatal shooting.
James Jones Fields
According to the criminal complaint, on June 13, 2020, Nia Black and her friends went to the Lamplighter Lounge. The bar was at capacity, so they were not allowed inside. While in the parking lot, Black got into a verbal then physical altercation with another woman. The fight grew in size, as people from inside the bar came outside.
The complaint states that Black and her friend were able to get out of the fight and return to their car. As they were driving away - with Black in the passenger seat - the driver hit some people. As they exited the parking lot, shots rang out and the back window of the car shattered. Black then fell onto the driver's shoulder unresponsive.
The driver then began speeding, trying to find a hospital. The driver was pulled over by a sheriff's deputy, and Black was declared dead at the scene.
According to the complaint, when officers canvassed the scene at the night club parking lot, they found broken glass, shot-out windows and bullet casings. Officers later learned that several videos of the fight were posted on social media. After speaking with witnesses and examining videos, officers were able to identify Fields as the suspect.
The complaint states that Fields is seen on camera going from the bar to his car, getting in the driver's seat and then exiting the car shortly before shots rang out, fatally striking Black.
Officers executed a search warrant at Fields' home and found clothes matching what he was seen wearing the night of the shooting. They also tracked his cell phone to the night club at the time of the shooting.
Fields has four prior felony convictions, including a 2014 incident in which he shot at one man and hit another in the parking lot of Lamplighter Lounge.