Weeks before Chue Xiong's fatal confrontation with St. Paul police Tuesday, he took his mother's car without her permission, drove five hours north, abandoned it and hopped a train over the Canadian border.
His older brother, Cheng Xiong, wrestled Thursday with the recent change in his brother's behavior, groping for explanations. Family members are struggling to understand why he took the car, and why on Tuesday he ended up across the street from the police's Eastern District office, apparently carrying a shotgun in plain view.
He was fatally shot after exchanging gunfire with officers.
"He just changed," Cheng Xiong said of his brother's behavior in the past month. "We're still confused."
In an unrelated case, Victor T. Gaddy, 41, also was fatally shot Tuesday by St. Paul police. His cousin, Terrence J. Wilson of St. Paul, was charged Thursday with felony drug possession.
Chue Xiong, 22, took his mother's Toyota Camry about 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, according to a St. Paul police report. Three days later it was found in a wooded lot in Ranier, Minn., a town of about 145 residents on the Canadian border, authorities said. The key was found on the back tire.
He hopped a train that delivered him across the river and into Fort Frances, Ontario, said International Falls Police Chief Mike Musich. International Falls is three miles from Ranier.
"It's not a commuter train," Musich said. "You'd have to jump on it illegally."
Cheng Xiong said his brother, who had been missing a week, took a bus back to St. Paul. The family told police Oct. 15 that he was home. Chue Xiong told his family he was sight-seeing. Musich and Koochiching County Sheriff's Deputy John Kalsted said it's unclear why he was there, and that nothing unusual was traced to the car or his time there.
Hours before the fatal shootout, Chue Xiong shaved his hair to the scalp, surprising family members accustomed to his usual shaggy look. He offered no explanation.
Cheng Xiong said his brother stole a shotgun and compound bow and arrows from the family's home Tuesday and slipped out of a basement window to evade detection. Family members reported the theft about 11 p.m.
About 30 minutes later, officers Daniel King and Brian Wanschura spotted him in a parking lot at Payne and Minnehaha Avenues. Chue Xiong raised the shotgun as officers arrived in a marked squad car and gunfire was exchanged, police said. King was wounded, underwent surgery, and was doing "fairly well" Thursday, said police spokesman Howie Padilla.
Xiong died at the scene. Police said that his motives are under investigation and that it's unclear why he was close to the police office. Cheng Xiong said the family used to live nearby, frequently passed it and said his brother must have known where he was.
Police Federation President David Titus called the proximity of the shooting "bothersome."
In the earlier incident Tuesday, Gaddy was fatally shot about 4 p.m. when St. Paul police stopped him as part of a Minneapolis police narcotics investigation.
Wilson, 20, who was a passenger in the car, was charged Thursday in Ramsey County District Court with fifth-degree felony drug possession. Records show Wilson has a history of theft and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.
According to those charges, Gaddy drove into a police vehicle, nearly pinning an officer between the vehicles. Gaddy then reversed and rammed another police vehicle before officers shot and killed him.
Wilson was arrested, and a package of powder that he dropped on the street later tested positive for crack cocaine, charges said. An additional 22.26 grams of the drug was recovered from the vehicle, the complaint said.
The officers in that case are Edward O'Donnell, Mark Farrington, Joshua Raichert and Christopher McGuire. Police have not said whose shots killed Gaddy.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib