ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Three people are dead and two others were hurt as gunfire erupted in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood, police say.
Officers responded around 4:30 p.m. for the report of multiple shot on the 900 block of Case Avenue East. At the scene, officers found two people wounded outside a home. The wounded victims told officers three more people were hurt inside the house.
Inside, police did find three more victims who were later pronounced dead when paramedics arrived. The surviving victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
"As people were enjoying the holiday weekend, in some of the best weather of the year, the atmosphere was shattered when five people were shot in our city," Sgt. Mike Ernster with St. Paul police. "This unthinkable crime will not only affect the crime victims and their families but it will affect the neighborhood where it occurred and it will affect our city as a whole."
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing on Case Avenue, which has been blocked off throughout the evening. Police say they are still searching for the suspect responsible.
In a news release on Monday afternoon, police released the identities of the three victims killed in the Sunday shooting.
The victims were:
- 33-year-old Angelica Gonzales
- 42-year-old Cory Freeman
- 44-year-old Maisha Spaulding
Police say all three victims lived in St. Paul. Police say the two people injured in the shooting who survived are also adults. Their identities were not released.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. At this time, police don't believe the shooting was a domestic attack. However, the circumstances that led up to shots being fired is still not known.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact investigators at the St. Paul Police homicide unit at 651-266-5650.
St. Paul community leaders call for suspect to surrender
Less than 24 hours after Sunday's horrific shooting, members of the African American Leadership Council and Saint Paul Black Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance joined with city officials to condemn the shooting and call for the gunman to turn themselves in.
"We're praying for all the families, on both sides," said Tyrone Terrill with the African American Leadership Council. "Because now, five families have been impacted, as well as our community."
"This was someone's son, someone's daughters, these were community members," said Pastor Melvin Miller. "The way to honor the legacy of those deceased is not with more violence. We want to eradicate violence from the community. The way to honor their legacies is to change the trajectory."
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joined the community leaders in calling for an end to the violence.
"I know I speak of everyone in saying we are tired of these press conferences, we are tired of these midnight calls," the mayor said. "We are tired of these incidents playing out in our community over, and over, and over, and over again."