St. Paul rec center shooting: City employee sentenced to 10 years

A St. Paul man was sentenced on Friday for the shooting of a 16-year-old boy at the Jimmy Lee Recreation Center in January 2023. 

Exavir Dwayne Binford Jr., 27, was charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault for shooting a teenage boy in the head after an altercation at the rec center while he was an employee. He pleaded guilty to first-degree assault causing great bodily harm in December 2023. 

A Ramsey County judge sentenced Binford on Feb. 9 to 125 months in prison (10 years) with credit for 388 days served. 

According to court records, the shooting happened outside the rec center around 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2023. The victim and another teenager got into an argument with Binford in front of the main door, which eventually turned into a physical altercation that ended up in the parking lot. 

As soon as the fight ended, Binford allegedly backed away from the boys, pulled out his gun, and shot the 16-year-old in the head. Binford left the scene before police arrived, and he was taken into custody shortly after. 

A witness told police Binford allegedly said before the shooting, "If I got to kill somebody I will. I don’t give a f---."

The teenager who was shot was taken to Regions Hospital and had emergency neurosurgery. He survived his injuries. 

Binford was issued a permit to carry a firearm by Ramsey County on Sept. 20, 2022. He told investigators he had his gun at the rec center, but they didn’t know he carried it at work, according to court documents.