Argument over driving escalated into fatal shooting in St. Paul, charges say

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 3, 2013 - 8:39 PM

The victim had tired of reckless driving on East Side street and confronted a motorist who later shot him, charges say.

An altercation over a near accident on an East Side street led to the fatal shooting of a 50-year-old St. Paul man early Sunday, charges say.

Aloeng K. Vang, 19, of St. Paul, told police that he shot Jeffrey T. Elling as the victim answered the door of his home in the 1400 block of York Avenue, according to a second-degree murder charge filed Tuesday against Vang in Ramsey County District Court.

The men had argued a short time earlier after Vang allegedly turned onto Elling’s street at a high rate of speed, nearly striking Elling and his girlfriend as they crossed York Avenue. At the time, Vang was headed to a cousin’s house on the same block — a residence where people had driven recklessly before, the charges say.

During the altercation, Elling pushed Vang to the ground, and Vang, who had appeared to be intoxicated, felt disrespected.

While in the cousin’s home, Vang allegedly said that he ought to do something about the shove so that he wouldn’t appear cowardly, but he was warned against it because he now had a wife and child.

Within a half-hour of leaving, however, shots rang out, the charges say.

Initially, Vang, who turned himself in to police at the scene, told authorities he been driving around in an effort to cool off.

He later admitted, however, that he had gone to his house to get a gun, according to the complaint. He rang Elling’s doorbell, hid behind a tree and then fired two shots when Elling answered, Vang told police.

He added he didn’t mean to shoot Elling, only to scare him.

“I should have just whooped [him],” the charges quote Vang as saying.

Elling was shot in the neck and pronounced dead at the scene, authorities say.

Vang, who was being held in the county jail in lieu of $1 million bail, made his first court appearance on Tuesday and will return to court on Sept. 16.

In his interview with police, Vang is alleged to have said he was a former gang member. Court records show that he was adjudicated as delinquent in a 2011 auto-theft case in Ramsey County. Vang was 16 at the time.

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