A minor dispute inside a St. Paul gas station quickly escalated to a deadly encounter Friday night after a 22-year-old Minneapolis man shot a fellow customer who allegedly cut in line, charges say.
Ts’John T. Reed, 22, of Minneapolis was charged in Ramsey County District Court on Monday with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 28-year-old Darius K. Van.
Reed, who holds a legal permit to carry, later told police that he fired in self-defense. He remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers responded to the Arco gas station at 1184 E. Maryland Avenue around 9:15 p.m. Friday on a report of a shooting. They found a man with two gunshot wounds in the torso lying in a pool of blood inside the Mini Pac market.
Two female witnesses told police that a verbal spat began after Van attempted to reclaim his place in line for the register after briefly stepping away. Reed got angry and the men exchanged words before bumping one another.
Surveillance footage caught Reed pulling a handgun from his jacket and pointing it at Van, who was surrounded by people.
“These bullets work. I’ll be out by the time I’m 40. I’ll kill you. I don’t give a (expletive),” Reed reportedly threatened. Van appeared unafraid and challenged Reed to fight outside.
At some point, the store clerk looked up to find Reed with a firearm in each hand and heard him threaten to shoot Van and “kill everyone in the store,” according to the complaint. A woman tried to de-escalate the situation as the clerk instructed a co-worker to hit the panic button and quietly told customers to leave the store.
Van momentarily left the market and re-entered. As he approached Reed, blood spatter hit the floor. The men struggled and Van went limp. Reed then fled the store covered in blood, surveillance video showed.
While investigators worked the crime scene, dispatch received a phone call indicating that the suspected shooter wanted to turn himself in. Officers arrested Reed at his mother’s house, where they found bloody clothing and his permit to carry. A Glock 9mm with an extended clip was also recovered from his car.
In a police interview, Reed claimed that he feared his life was in danger when Van advanced to try and disarm him. Reed admitted that he “lost control” during the encounter, but felt he had to act because Van wouldn’t back down.
No attorney is listed for him in court records.