Man charged in fatal shooting in St. Paul's Frogtown

  • Article by: Nicole Norfleet
  • Star Tribune
  • October 24, 2013 - 6:19 PM


A 25-year-old man was charged Thursday in the shooting death of a man found in a St. Paul alley.

James W. Davis-Drew was charged with second degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Erick Renada Pineda Ordonez, of St. Paul. Davis-Drew was accused of aiding and abetting and being aided in Ordonez’s unintentional death during a robbery attempt.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 11, police responded about 7 a.m. to a call of a dead man near a home listed as a vacant building at 665 Van Buren Avenue. Officers found Ordonez covered in blood slumped over directly outside the door of a car, which was registered to him. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he had died from four gunshot wounds.

Witnesses said they heard several gunshots around 3 a.m. One witness said two men ran eastbound through the alley after the shots were fired. Another witness said he saw Ordonez’s car drive north on St. Albans Street crossing Van Buren Avenue with the brake lights illuminated. A little later, he noticed brake lights from behind the house at 665 Van Buren Avenue. Later, the witness saw a man on crutches walk east on the sidewalk in front of the house and appear to meet up with a woman who walked from across the street before he lost sight of them. The witness then heard gunshots come from behind the house.

A fingerprint lifted from the inside handle of the front passenger door of Ordonez’s car matched the known print for Davis-Drew, who was sentenced in 2008 to more than 4 years in prison for first degree aggravated robbery.

Police found Ordonez’s wallet without cash inside of a grill in the front yard of 639 Van Buren Avenue, where Davis-Drew sleeps once or twice a week.

Bank records showed that Ordonez withdrew more than $300 from his account on Oct. 11 a little after 2 a.m. at a Super America convenience store in Fridley. The investigation revealed that a taxi had picked up a fare at 639 Van Buren Avenue about 3:30 a.m. and took a man to the Greyhound bus station in Minneapolis.

When Davis-Drew was spotted on Oct. 22, he ran from officers and dropped a bag and backpack, which contained a handgun and marijuana.

Davis-Drew told police he was homeless and had found the backpack after he got off the bus, which goes against video which shows him on the bus already with the backpack. He said Ordonez gave him a ride from the Super America at Old Hudson Road and White Bear Avenue and then dropped him off at St. Albans and Grotto streets. He said he called a cab from 639 Van Buren to go to the bus depot to visit family, but the depot was closed.

Video from the SuperAmerica shows Ordonez getting into his vehicle with Davis-Drew, a man on crutches and another man.

Ballistic tests reveal that the gun in the backpack was not used to kill Ordonez. Davis-Drew made his first court appearance Thursday.



Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @stribnorfleet


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