St. Paul shooting: 5 shot, 2 dead after celebration of life event

St. Paul police confirm five people were injured in a shooting early Saturday evening in a "chaotic scene" following a celebration of life event. Two men injured in the shooting have died.

Among the other three victims of the shooting, one man is in critical condition at Regions Hospital, one woman is in stable condition at Regions and another woman is being treated at United Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The shootings happened at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot outside Kings Crossing by Episcopal Homes on the 500 block of Dale Street North, not far from the intersection of Dale and University. Kings Crossing is an apartment building for low-income senior citizens.

When officers arrived, they found a "chaotic" scene and learned that five people had been shot. St. Paul Fire medics were called to the scene but were told some of the shooting victims were taken to local hospitals in private vehicles. One man was pronounced dead at the scene by medics and another man was pronounced dead at United Hospital after arriving in a private vehicle. 

Preliminary information from the investigation indicates the shooting happened in the parking lot at the conclusion of a celebration of life event that was attended by many people. An altercation reportedly occurred, and shots were fired in the parking lot.  

A motive in this case has not been determined, although investigators do not believe it was a random shooting. No arrests have been made. 

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct autopsies to positively identify the victims and determine their exact causes of death. These are 4th and 5th homicides of 2023 in St. Paul.

Mayor Carter says weekend violence is 'heartbreaking'

With three people shot on Friday, and five more shot on Saturday, Minnesota’s capital city was the center of a deadly stretch of violence over 48 hours this weekend.

"It’s just plain heartbreaking," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said. "We are tired of having this press conference…  we’re tired of having to figure out how to wrap words around violence."

"It heated up inside first, and then it went and spilled out into the parking lot," Episcopal Homes CEO Marvin Plakut explained. "Some residents, when they heard the gunfire, they looked out the window, and they saw the aftermath of people lying in the parking lot after being shot. It’s a terrible image to have to have experienced."

Plakut says the building’s cameras recorded the shooting, and that video has been turned over to investigators: "In fact, the police are carefully reviewing it right now, and they’re matching up what they’re seeing on the camera with the direct eyewitnesses… the police are making a lot of progress on piecing together events."

Less than 24 hours earlier, three teenage boys were shot in a drive-by shooting at another memorial service. That happened at the funeral reception for Devin Scott, the victim of a deadly stabbing at St. Paul’s Harding High School. Friday’s victims are all expected to survive.

"There has been no connection identified that would connect either incident," Mike Ernster of St. Paul Police finished.

Governor: St. Paul gun violence ‘unacceptable’

This is the second shooting with multiple victims in a many days in St. Paul. Three teenage boys were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds Friday night after a shooting at a memorial service for Devin Scott - the victim of the fatal stabbing at Harding High School. 

Friday's shooting happened at the Wellstone Center on the 100 block of East Robie Street. Officers arrived to find three male juveniles in their teens suffering from apparent gunshot injuries that appear to be non-fatal.

"The gun violence in St. Paul this weekend is unacceptable," Gov. Tim Walz tweeted Saturday night. "I’m committed to increasing public safety funding, getting illegal guns off the streets, and addressing gang activity to curb the cycle of violence."