A 34-year-old St. Paul man charged with fatally shooting a tenant of an adjoining duplex told police that the other man threatened to kill him, so "I just beat him to the draw," according to a criminal complaint.
Brandis J. Wells was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder in the death of Jarrell R. Kirk Jr., 31, of St. Paul on Dec. 28 in the 500 block of Blair Avenue.
Wells appeared in court Wednesday and remained jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. He is due back in court Feb. 1. Court records did not list an attorney for him.
According to the complaint:
Officers responding to several 911 calls arrived at the duplex and found a wounded Kirk on the sidewalk. His father told police that Wells was in the lower unit.
Witnesses and others told officers that Kirk, who lived in the upper unit with his father, brothers and a girlfriend, "had been in conflict" with Wells over a woman who had left Kirk and moved in with Wells.
The woman "antagonized [Kirk] constantly and intentionally fueled the conflict."
On the evening of the shooting, Kirk and the woman argued, leading people in the lower unit to cut power to the upper residence.
Kirk, who had a permit to carry a firearm, went downstairs with a gun. Moments later, his father went outside and saw his son on the ground. He believed he had been shot. The father went back inside to put on shoes and when he returned, he saw Wells shoot Kirk in the chest.
An officer saw a male flee out the back of the duplex.
Wells surrendered to police several days later. He admitted turning off the power but said Kirk flashed a gun and threatened to kill him.
Wells said he got his own gun and while the two were outside, Kirk pointed his weapon at him.
"I just beat him to the draw," Wells told police. "I thought he was going to live. ... I didn't mean to kill that dude."