A man was shot to death and another seriously wounded Saturday night on St. Paul's East Side, continuing a deadly stretch in the city that now has seen four homicides during the past week.
The gunfire erupted about 5:30 p.m. at E. Maryland Avenue and Hazelwood Street, in a parking lot behind the Roosevelt Homes complex, police said.
One man was found lying in the lot with multiple gunshot wounds. Another man was located nearby, slumped over the driver’s seat of his vehicle with injuries to his face and arm. Both men were taken to Regions Hospital, where the first man died. The second victim remains in serious condition.
The surviving victim’s dark sedan, which appeared to have crashed into a row of parked cars, was at the scene late Saturday. Its front passenger door hung open, and debris littered the street.
The four homicides in a week raise the city's total to 28 this year, a pace not seen in at least a decade. The city's worst year on record was 34 homicides in 1992.
Autumn Day, 33, was finishing a load at a nearby laundry with her 7-year-old daughter when she heard the shots. "It's scary out here — especially in these projects," said Day, who has lived in the housing complex since 2014.
The violence has changed the way she parents, she said. No more playing outside; she picks her daughter up at the bus stop instead of allowing the short walk home by herself. "She sees the crime tape," Day said. "She sees everything."
At a late-night news conference outside police headquarters, Sgt. Mike Ernster decried the bloodshed and urged community members to step forward if they know about someone harboring illegal weapons.
St. Paul officers have recovered at least five illegal firearms from the streets this week, he said. It’s work that gets overshadowed as people continue pulling the trigger, he said.
Saturday's homicide came one day after a man was killed and his wife injured in a shooting in the Highland Park neighborhood; police have said it did not appear random.
That shooting occurred in the 1300 block of Davern Street around 2:15 a.m. Friday, near W. 7th Street.
According to police, a woman called 911 to report a shooting, and when officers arrived they found her in the passenger seat of an SUV with a gunshot wound to the leg and her husband dead in the driver's seat.