A 42-year-old woman has been charged with the fatal shooting her cousin and the wounding of another woman in a St. Paul apartment building parking lot.
Nicole L. Smith, of St. Paul, was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree attempted murder in connection with the deadly encounter late Saturday on the city’s West Side.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday identified the woman who died as LaWanda Wade, 44, of St. Paul. A 43-year-old woman, whose identity has yet to be released, was shot in the arm.
Smith remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail ahead of a court appearance Tuesday. Court records list no attorney for her.
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers arrived to the “chaotic scene” on W. Stevens Street and found Smith trying to help her wounded cousin.
Wade had been arguing with a man and woman who lived at the apartment building. At one point, Wade threw a grill at the couple, and they responded by hitting her with baseball bats.
A fight ensued and Smith opened fire, hitting Wade in the back and the other woman in the arm.
The woman told police that she and Wade were at odds because Wade “had been hitting” on her boyfriend of many years.
A man who witnessed the shooting told police that he thought Smith “accidentally shot [Wade] by the way she was acting,” the complaint read. Smith laid down on the ground and cried, he told police, and he thought she was genuinely grieving.
Smith was arrested in the city’s 26th homicide of the year. Another homicide Tuesday pushed the 2020 total to 27.