A St. Paul teenager was charged Tuesday with shooting a gas station attendant in the stomach during an apparent robbery over the weekend.
Jason L. Sam, 16, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, possession of ammunition or an assault weapon while under 18, possession of ammunition or a firearm and first-degree aggravated robbery.
Sam’s alleged getaway driver, Josmar B. Najera, 18, of St. Paul, was charged with one count each of aiding an offender and aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
Police believe Sam was the gunman in the shooting of a clerk at the SuperDay Gas Station, 2525 Seventh St., in St. Paul on Sunday. The clerk survived.
According to the complaint: Police responded to the gas station about 5:55 p.m. on information from a neighbor that a male put on a ski mask, pulled up a hood and walked down the street.
Authorities found the clerk laying on his side inside the gas station with a gunshot wound to the stomach. A customer was tending to him.
The clerk was taken to Regions Hospital, where he later told police that he was near the coffee when the suspect entered the store and demanded cash. The clerk thought it was a prank, the charges said.
The suspect pointed a gun at the clerk, who, afraid for his life, attempted to push past the suspect and flee. The clerk told police he believes he was shot once or twice in the process. Police found one 9 millimeter WIN Luger casing in the gas station by the door.
The neighbor who had called authorities told police that he saw the suspect exit a Dodge Durango, and later saw the suspect running back to the car while holding an object in his left hand. The incident was captured on the neighbor’s surveillance cameras.
Authorities also found a right blue Crocs-type shoe where the Durango had been parked. They later found a matching shoe in the car after stopping the vehicle a short time after the shooting.
Najera was driving the vehicle, and Sam, who was not wearing any shoes, was in the back seat, the charges said. Sam allegedly told an officer that he had a “clip” in his sock, and the officer recovered a silver magazine with seven rounds and “Luger” stamped on the bottom.
When asked about the gun for the magazine, Sam allegedly said, “I plead the fifth.”
Najera first allegedly told police he had not seen a gun or ammunition, and had no knowledge of a robbery. He later said that he drove Sam around after the robbery, and that Sam threw his clothes in a dumpster. Najera said he did not know about the gun or where it was, the charges said.
Sam declined to speak with police. The county attorney’s office will attempt to certify him as an adult in the case.