Man who led St. Paul police on chase charged in murder

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 3, 2013 - 10:43 PM

Brandon G. Christopher

Photo: Ramsey County Sheriff's Office,

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The man shot and wounded by St. Paul police after a chase Friday was charged Tuesday with murder for an unrelated slaying last week in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.

Brandon G. Christopher, 19, of Maplewood, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Evan T. Brown, 28.

Christopher had been charged Monday with second-degree assault and fleeing a peace officer after leading police on a high-speed chase early Friday.

The officers chasing Christopher didn’t know that he might be connected to the East Side shooting, police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos said. It wasn’t until later that investigators pieced together the clues.

“What they started to do is go back and forth with details of both incidents and found out that the gun that was recovered from the scene of the officer-involved shooting was possibly the gun used in the homicide,” Paulos said.

Christopher allegedly told police that he shot Brown because Brown had startled him when he returned to a party the victim was hosting in the early morning hours of Nov. 26.

Witnesses told police that Brown had been bragging about having about $8,000, the charges said. The money was not found at the scene. Christopher allegedly told police he took ammunition after the shooting but not money.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Christopher allegedly shot Brown about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 26 after attending Brown’s party in the 800 block of E. 4th Street.

Christopher allegedly flashed a silver handgun at the party, then left for awhile before returning for a phone. Several minutes later he called to have a driver pick him up in the alley behind the place where the party was held, charges said.

“A witness in the vehicle described the smell of gunpowder when Brandon entered the vehicle,” the complaint said. “Brandon stated, ‘I just smoked that guy.’ He then told the driver to ‘get going.’ ”

Police found Brown dead at the scene with a loaded, unfired revolver next to him and two bags of what was alleged to be Ecstasy nearby, the complaint said. He died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Following the shooting, according to court documents, Christopher and a group of people drove to Hastings, where Christopher allegedly drove off in a dark blue Chrysler 300.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, St. Paul police officer Michael Tschida spotted the Chrysler, saw it had a broken-out passenger window and tried to stop it. But the driver turned off his lights and fled.

Police said the 8-mile pursuit reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. After officers deployed stop sticks, the suspect’s vehicle came to a rolling stop in a North End neighborhood. Christopher, sitting in the driver’s seat, opened the door and Tschida saw a “large silver gun” in his right hand, the complaint said.

Tschida and officer Darin McDonald fired after Christopher pointed the gun at them, the complaint said.

A 6-inch silver Ruger New Vaquero .357 Magnum handgun was recovered from the vehicle, the complaint said. Christopher allegedly told police that was the gun he used to kill Brown, according to court documents.

The officers were put on a standard three-day leave following the shooting.

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