A teenage girl was killed and her older sister was injured in a shooting shortly after sunrise Sunday in the 700 block of Sims Avenue on St. Paul's East Side.
Officers were called to the alley about 7:30 a.m. on a report of shots fired. They found the two victims. A juvenile female was killed; the other woman was taken to Regions Hospital with noncritical injuries.
The shooting happened directly behind the house of Jon Cobetto, who was sitting at his computer when he heard two shots, followed by "two girls screaming hysterically," he said.
He called 911 and spotted the body in the alley as he was on the phone with the operator. Authorities arrived minutes later and unsuccessfully tried CPR on the female victim, he said.
The residential neighborhood is generally quiet, said Cobetto, who had lived there for 30 years. "It's shocking, because this type of thing doesn't really happen around here."
There was a drive-by shooting nearby several years ago, but nobody was hurt, he said.
"It's just a one-time thing," he said. "I don't think these girls are even from here."
Just after 4 p.m. Sunday, a woman who said she was the victims' aunt, walked from her car to the site of the shooting with a bouquet of pink and yellow daisies. She set them by a garbage can in the alley, near a one-foot-wide bloodstain.
She had received a call from her brother, who said one of his daughters had died and another was hurt.
"I wonder what happened," she said. "I don't know what she was doing over here."
"I feel bad because she really doesn't have that much family," the woman added.
Several neighbors said they hadn't heard anything this morning because they were sleeping.
Officers are questioning witnesses at the department's headquarters and looking for anyone else who may have information about this incident. Investigators are asking anyone who knows what led to the shooting to call the homicide unit at 651-266-5650.
The Ramsey County medical examiner's office will determine an exact cause of death and identify the victim.
Staff writer Pat Pheifer contributed to this report.