Victim and suspect "exchanged words" before police officers found a victim dying in intersection.
A verbal altercation between two men on a Metro Transit bus turned into a physical fight on a St. Paul street, leaving one man dead on Wednesday and the other in jail.
St. Paul police were called about 1 a.m. to the intersection of N. Rice Street and Aurora Avenue W., where two men were fighting. When they arrived, Desmond Deshawn Harper, 25, of St. Paul, was unresponsive. He died at the scene. A 38-year-old St. Paul man was later arrested on suspicion of murder. He remained in the Ramsey County jail on Wednesday night pending the possible filing of charges by the Ramsey County attorney on Thursday.
Although "words were exchanged between the two men while on Route 16 bus, the driver didn't have an inkling that a fight was about to start, said John Siqveland, a Metro Transit spokesman. "There was nothing that the operator would have witnessed that was anything that would suggest more than an exchange of words," he said. "A bus is 40 feet long, and this was not activity that happened right by the front door."
Police said the fight escalated after the two men got off the bus at Rice and Aurora.
The Route 16 bus runs between the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis, traveling mostly along University Avenue. Siqveland said he did not know what the men were arguing about.
He said Metro Transit was assisting St. Paul police in the investigation.
All Metro Transit buses are equipped with video cameras.
AND Mary Lynn Smith