Jeffery L. Logan, 44, was well known in the community and called "kind-hearted" by his family.
The three men who gunned down Jeffery Lamont Logan during a botched robbery in St. Paul early Saturday could have just asked for the money.
Logan, 44, who had stepped up to defend his cousin when the trio accosted them, would have handed it over not out of fear, but from the goodness of his heart, his brother said Saturday.
The robbers "did a senseless thing," Charles Walker said Saturday, standing in the alley behind the Attucks-Brooks American Legion Hall, where his brother was shot hours before. "They didn't need to rob him. They could have just asked."
They didn't, and now three men await murder charges.
Police say Logan was leaving the club at 976 Concordia Av. at about 1 a.m. Saturday to head to his nearby St. Paul home when he was accosted by the trio. St. Paul police spokesman Peter Panos said details of what happened next remain unclear, but Walker said his brother was with a cousin whom the robbers had targeted, leading Logan to step in. They briefly fought, which led to the shooting, Walker said.
Logan was rushed to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he died.
"He was a kind-hearted man, but he wouldn't let anything happen to his own," Walker said.
Witnesses described to police a vehicle they saw at the scene, which was quickly spotted driving south on St. Albans Street in St. Paul. When police tried to stop the car, a brief chase ensued until the car crashed into a planter at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and St. Albans. One suspect was arrested at the scene, while two were caught after a brief search.
A 20-year-old West St. Paul man and two St. Paul men, ages 27 and 28, were booked into the Ramsey County jail, where they await formal charges by the Ramsey County attorney's office.
It was St. Paul's third homicide this year and the second last week. On Thursday, Wachong Lee, 46, was stabbed to death at his home in the 1000 block of Pacific Street. Police have not arrested a suspect, but say the killing is not random. On Jan. 18, Vernon D. Cafle, 43, was killed in what police say was a botched drug deal.
Grief at the scene
On Saturday afternoon, dozens of Logan's friends and relatives flooded the American Legion post to mourn their friend, cousin and brother, who "was like the Norm of this place," said longtime friend Eric Coleman, referring to the famous character from the television sitcom "Cheers."
"No, he was worse than Norm," Coleman added. "He'd tell you about yourself."
Known among his friends as a man who didn't mince words but who looked out for his friends and family, Logan, who had worked 17 years for the same company, had no children but doted on his nieces and nephews, children of his five younger siblings. He was a staple at the American Legion, a hangout for those in the tight-knit community.
Panos said that while the club has attracted police on occasion, it is not a nuisance bar or a haven for violent crime.
Despite having been born without a left hand, Logan excelled in sports and was physically adept. The 1982 graduate of Highland Park High School lettered in several sports and was an honor student. His record with the law was limited to a speeding ticket more than 15 years ago.
His death leaves a hole in the fabric of the neighborhood, Walker said.
"I know his death is going to impact this community pretty big," Walker said. "When a nice person goes out with his friends and this happens to him, it's not right."
Abby Simons • 612-673-4921