A man was shot and killed outside a residence in St. Paul's North End on Monday, marking the city's 31st homicide of the year.
Officers were called just before 2 p.m. to the 500 block of W. Jessamine Avenue, on the outskirts of Marydale Park. Upon arrival, they found a male with a gunshot wound to the head, according to emergency dispatch audio. He died at the scene.
Minutes earlier, a 911 caller had reported that the victim approached the door of their house demanding to get inside, "screaming that he is bleeding," according to scanner audio.
Investigators set up a perimeter and closed part of the road as they combed the area for evidence. Barriers were erected around the victim's body, which lay in the frozen street near the trunk of a bloodied white vehicle — several feet away from a "Little Tikes" basketball hoop.
Shawn Perriera, a truck driver, said he was working on his trailer down the block when he heard two quick pops of gunfire. Worried about a friend who lived in the direction of the shots, he dropped what he was doing and walked down Jessamine.
Perriera told the Star Tribune he saw a man casually walking from a blue two-story home on the corner of Kent and Jessamine toward a white sedan parked out front. But Perriera got distracted when his friend approached from the driveway and never saw the man fall to the ground.
He didn't realize the man he saw was the one shot until police arrived.
"It's just unbelievable," said Perriera, who noted that this stretch was known for auto theft but not such violent crime.
A neighbor working from home Monday heard three to four shots before she poked her head outside and saw a black pickup truck screaming down the road.
"The way he took off, I knew something was wrong," said Kristen Montag, a public relations manager who's lived at that intersection for 20 years. "I've always felt safe here, but this is really disconcerting."
Montag said she later spoke with her neighbors, who were shaken by the violence right outside their door. "The kids saw it," she recalled them saying.
Last week, St. Paul surpassed 200 gunshot victims for the first time in a single year. Monday's shooting marked the 214th person wounded or killed by gunfire.
The 31 homicide victims — 25 of them by firearms — are the third most in the city's history, according to St. Paul police crime data.
The deadliest year on record was 1992, when the city logged 34 homicides.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648