A large crowd of family members and friends grieved outside an apartment building near the Capitol on Saturday evening after a 19-year-old man was shot to death there.
The shooting scene, between a multi-unit residence and a tennis court on the 200 block of Aurora Avenue, near Marion Street, was almost exactly the spot where another homicide occurred just over two months ago.
Several friends and family members identified the victim Da’Seion Pugh, 19, of St. Paul.
After the 4 p.m. shooting, investigators cordoned off a two-block area with yellow tape and hung sheets on the fence surrounding the tennis court in an attempt to conceal the man’s body from distraught family and friends.
A brisk wind buffeted the sheets, and the dead man, lying on his back, was visible, causing much distress to those who knew him. About 6:30 p.m., the Ramsey County coroner arrived to take Pugh’s body away for an autopsy.
A woman who said she was the man’s stepmother called his killing “senseless — for what?”
“They shot my baby,” she said, sobbing.
An older woman who collapsed sobbing onto the sidewalk after hearing the news was comforted by a St. Paul police officer who held and rubbed her hands.
A high school friend said Pugh had recently graduated from Oakdale’s Tartan Senior High School. “He didn’t do nothing but go to school and draw,” the friend said.
Relatives said Pugh was preparing for community college, where he intended to study engineering. “He wasn’t in a gang or anything,” a grieving aunt said. “We shouldn’t have ever let him stay here.”
It was the second homicide at the site in a little more than two months.
On the afternoon of April 16, Tyrese Santell Borney, 36, was shot to death in an alley outside an apartment building at the site. A St. Paul man was arrested and questioned in connection with that shooting, but no one has been charged.
At the time, neighbors said the building has been attracting problem tenants and visitors for years.