A 37-year-old St. Paul man who was killed Wednesday while attending a vigil for a woman slain in that location three years earlier has been identified by authorities as Synika G. James.
Wednesday’s shooting occurred about 6 p.m. in an alley near Cypress Street and E. Reaney Avenue in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood on the East Side.
The vigil marked the third anniversary of the killing of 20-year-old Naressa Turner, who was shot by an alleged gang member on Oct. 14, 2012, while inside a parked car in the alley.
By late Thursday, no arrests had been made in James’ shooting. Police, however, said they do not believe the public is at risk. Relatives of the victims reached Thursday declined to comment.
Police said officers were called after gunfire broke out in a crowd of 30 to 40 people who had gathered for the vigil.
The gunman fled before police arrived. James, meanwhile, was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle. On the way, those helping James flagged down an ambulance. Medics treated James and later pronounced him dead.
On Thursday, a woman who lived near the shooting said she heard 12 to 13 gunshots before she looked outside and saw people running.
“[My children] thought they were fireworks, but I knew they were gunshots,” said the neighbor, who did not want to be named out of concern for her safety.
Balloons were tied to the chain-link fence on Thursday morning in the alley near the spot where the shooting happened.
Alleged East Side Boyz gang member Joseph Campbell was convicted of first- and second-degree murder in 2013 in Turner’s death, which authorities have said was in retaliation for the 2012 killing of Dominic Neeley, another reputed East Side Boyz member.
Campbell shot Turner, who was affiliated with the East Side Boyz and then the Selby Siders, according to a witness who testified at Campbell’s trial. The East Side Boyz gang has had a long-running, violent feud with the Selby Siders gang.
Turner’s former roommate testified that she spread rumors on Facebook that Turner set up Neeley’s death. Turner left for Atlanta to escape threats but was killed when she returned to St. Paul.
Two other men pleaded guilty to helping Campbell.
Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to call St. Paul police at 651-266-5650 or send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) and begin message with: TIP674.