A 44-year-old Ramsey man was charged Monday in Anoka County District Court with second-degree murder in last week's shooting death of a 29-year-old Fridley man outside a Coon Rapids bar.
Chad N. Nelson is accused of fatally shooting Rayontra R. McCall early Thursday in the parking lot of Willy's Bar, 2501 Coon Rapids Blvd., in a dispute over a card game. McCall was taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, where he was pronounced dead.
Coon Rapids police were called to Willy's at 12:40 a.m. and found McCall with gunshot injuries to his hand and chest. Witnesses told police that Nelson and McCall were at a poker tournament at the bar when "McCall's uncle believed Nelson was cheating," according to the complaint.
The uncle and Nelson "exchanged words, eventually leading bar employees to intervene and calm the situation," the complaint read.
After the men left the bar, the uncle asked Nelson to apologize "for the conduct earlier in the night." Nelson then got in his car, drove to the area where McCall and his uncle were standing and "exchanged words."
McCall then went up to Nelson's car window and punched him in the face, the complaint said. At the same time, witnesses saw Nelson "pull out a gun and fire multiple times, striking McCall in the chest."
"McCall stumbled backward and then collapsed to the ground," according to the complaint.
Nelson was then seen speeding away from the bar. He was arrested after seeking medical attention a few hours after the shooting.
Nelson told detectives he was "attacked," and his father told police that Nelson contacted him to say he was "assaulted" and that he had "shot a guy who was coming at him," according to the complaint.
Witnesses identified Nelson as the shooter in a police lineup.
Nelson previously had a permit to carry, but lost it. Police found a Ruger .380 semiautomatic handgun with two missing rounds from the magazine, the complaint said. Two .380 shell casings were found next to McCall's body.
"This was an angry incident that escalated to lethal violence," Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said in a news release. "It is senseless that a life was lost because of a poker game."
It was the 11th time police have been called to the bar this year, with most reasons involving drunken patrons. Police Sgt. Tom Hawley said last week that the bar is "not a huge problem place."
Judge Daniel O'Fallon set bail for Nelson at $750,000 and scheduled his next court appearance for Aug. 3.