Family struggles to come to grips with death of man shot in St. Paul

Friends and loved ones of Jeff Mintz are still trying to make sense of the tragic events that unfolded at University and Snelling avenues in St. Paul this week.

Mintz was apparently driving through the city when he was shot in the chest around 10 p.m. on Wednesday. After being struck, police say he pulled over and called 911 but sadly the 55-year-old eventually died from his injuries.

Now, two days after the shooting, investigators have not yet released information on the circumstances surrounding the death -- only that it's possible the gunman was in another car.

"He was so full of light," said Rabbi Michelle Werner. "That’s what everyone who knew him would tell you about him. It’s like that was just crushed, so needlessly."

Rabbi Werner tells us Mintz and his family were fixtures in the Rochester, Minnesota Jewish community where he was board president for years at the B’nai Israel Synagogue.

On Thursday evening, the temple dedicated its virtual Chanukah candle-lighting session to Mintz, who was also a father of two, an attorney, musician, and bar karaoke host in the metro.

Friday, Mintz's son Lee spoke with FOX 9 via Zoom from Seattle. Lee, a heavy metal musician, says his father was a giant inspiration and role model.

"It being Chanukah, no less," lamented Lee Mintz, "and it’s supposed to be a time of light, and joy, and family, and celebration. I don’t know... it’s horrible."

Among the things Jeff passed onto his son was a love for music, which led Lee to pursue his dream. Now, Lee says he has lost his guiding light.

"He definitely put a passion for music into me," explained Lee. "That I am devastated at the loss of, honestly. It’s having someone like him to support me, has been everything."

Funeral services for Jeff Mintz are Sunday in Las Vegas.