Charges follow slaying on St. Paul street

  • Article by: CHRIS HAVENS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 24, 2007 - 11:55 PM

The driver of a Mustang pulled alongside a sedan at a downtown St. Paul intersection and asked to know: "Why are you driving past my house? What are you doing in my neighborhood?"

After responding, Sean D. Gibbs stepped out of the sedan he was driving, two men got out of the Mustang and Gibbs was shot in the head, according to murder charges filed Friday.

Antonio Thelen, 32, of St. Paul, is accused of two counts of second-degree murder. He is being held in Ramsey County jail.

During questioning Wednesday, Thelen denied taking part in an altercation early Saturday at Kellogg Boulevard and Smith Avenue, but he said that he was in the Mustang.

Another suspect was arrested and released pending further investigation.

Police aren't sure whether Gibbs and Thelen knew each other. Records show Thelen has been ticketed for drunken driving.

Police were familiar with both Thelen and Gibbs, police spokesman Tom Walsh said. State records show that Gibbs, 21, of New Brighton, has had several felony theft convictions.

"Sean had some troubles in the past, and here he is -- really on the verge of getting things together -- when his life was senselessly taken away from him," said Kerri Allen, his aunt.

She said Gibbs grew up in St. Paul but spent part of his youth living in Spain with his father. Gibbs leaves behind a 2-year-old son.

"Family was really important to him," Allen said. "He had a lot of love in his heart."

Staff writer Pat Pheifer contributed to this report. Chris Havens • 651-298-1542

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