Five people were charged Thursday in connection with a South St. Paul drive-by shooting that injured two people earlier this week, said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
Authorities say an ongoing argument among former friends led to escalating violence Monday night when a sport-utility vehicle slowly approached a residential street and one or more passengers fired several shots, striking two people. The victims were hospitalized with noncritical injuries.
“This was a violent crime which easily could have taken a life,” Backstrom said in a statement. “We are thankful that no deaths occurred and that no other individuals were injured in this incident.”
Erik Dontez Poe, 18, of Burnsville; Juan Carlos Rojas, 19, of Inver Grove Heights; Cheridan Bree Redmond, 19, of Inver Grove Heights; Sopearvy Ogbondah Michelle Sam-Farrow, 18, of West St. Paul; and her father, Tyrone Lamar Farrow, 37, of Big Lake, all face one count each of drive-by shooting and assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the criminal complaint:
South St. Paul Police responded to the 900 block of Warner Avenue just before 10 p.m. Monday night on a report that a woman had received threatening text messages, which mentioned a gun. As the officer approached the woman’s home, he noticed a dark colored SUV slowly roll past the property.
He heard rapid gunfire and saw several flashes of light emanating from the vehicle’s passenger side before it raced off to a nearby cul-de-sac, where two men fled on foot. One man, later identified as Farrow, remained in the back seat.
A a 9MM handgun and shotgun — each of which contained live rounds — were found in the vehicle along with several 9MM shell casings. Police later apprehended the two men who they say ran from the car, later identified as Rojas and Poe.
The conflict had begun two days earlier, when Sam-Farrow and Redmond visited the female victim’s home to buy marijuana, the charges say. While there, the women got in an argument, and Redmond got punched in the face.
Sam-Farrow and Redmond returned Monday and tensions flared again. This time, Sam-Farrow got hit in the face. She called her father and boyfriend, then returned home.
A few hours later, one of the victims told police she spotted Sam-Farrow’s sedan drive past the residence with her lights off, then stick out her arm and point to the home. A trailing dark-colored SUV drove by and someone inside fired several rounds. The two victims each suffered injuries from bird shot consistent with a shotgun round; 9mm shell casings were also found outside the home.