Teens charged in connection to St. Paul gas station shooting

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A 16-year-old boy is now charged with first and second degree assault after allegedly shooting a gas station clerk in the stomach in St. Paul, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

The believed shooter, Jason Lee Sam III, is also charged with two firearm related counts. 18-year-old Josmar Najera of St. Paul, the alleged driver, was charged with two counts of aiding an offender.

According to St. Paul police, the shooting happened just before 6 p.m. at the Superday gas station in the 2500 block of 7th Street West.

Gas station store surveillance video shows a suspect, believed to be Sam, walk into the store and point a gun at the 20-year-old store clerk. The suspect was wearing a dark hooded sweater, a white T-shirt underneath and a black face mask.

In an interview with police, the victim said he thought “it was a joke or prank.” The suspect yelled at him, demanding money. The victim tried to push the suspect and run out the exit when the suspect shot him in the stomach.

A customer later found the victim lying on the floor and called 911. The victim had surgery at Regions Hospital and is expected to survive.

According to police, a witness saw a maroon Dodge Durango park in his neighbor’s driveway. He saw the shooting suspect get out of the vehicle and put on a face mask. The Durango moved into a nearby alley. Shortly after, the witness saw same person run back to the vehicle while holding something in his hand. The witness’ surveillance cameras also captured their movements.

Police also found a blue shoe in the driveway were the Durango was parked.

Officers later stopped the vehicle matching the witness’ description. Najera was driving, while Sam was in the backseat. In the Durango, police found a blue shoe matching the one left in the driveway.
Sam did not talk to police.

Najera initially denied knowing anything about the robbery, but when police showed him surveillance video of him waiting for Sam in the Durango, he started to cry and changed his story. He told police they stopped at an apartment complex dumpster where Sam threw out his clothes.

On Tuesday, Sam had his pre-certification hearing and Najera also had his first appearance.