A 16-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with two felonies in connection with a shootout near a professional soccer match over the weekend that left him and another person wounded.
The St. Paul teenager was charged as a juvenile in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and remains held in the juvenile detention center stemming from the incident Sunday night outside Allianz Field, where Minnesota United FC was competing in a playoff match with the L.A. Galaxy before roughly 20,000 fans. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to pursue certifying him as an adult.
The gunfire rang out about 7:30 p.m. in a parking lot behind the Laundry Place, a laundromat at 1475 W. University Av. The teen was shot in the torso, and another male was hit in the arm and a bullet grazed his head, according to the charging document.
Video surveillance from the laundromat gave investigators a revealing view of the shootout, but authorities have not speculated on a motive. According to prosecutors:
One person was “hanging out” behind a car and started shooting as the suspect was with another person riding by on bicycles. The teen said he felt the bullet strike his lower back.
He got off his bike, went behind a large trash bin and started shooting into a group of people. He then shot again at a specific person coming into view of the camera.
A driver told police at the scene that her SUV was hit by gunfire as she was backing out of a parking space. She said one bullet pierced the right rear passenger door, missing her baby son “by only a few inches.”
The teen was transported to Regions Hospital and then to the juvenile detention center. No other arrests or charges have been announced.
On Monday, less than 24 hours after the gunfire near Allianz Field, Mayor Melvin Carter said he may ask the City Council for more public safety funding in the 2020 budget, after a spate of shootings in recent months have traumatized the city.
There have been 24 homicides in the city so far this year, tying St. Paul’s deadliest year of the past decade — 24 for all of 2017. The city had nine homicides in September alone.