St. Paul police are investigating overnight shootings that killed a woman and left another in critical condition Thursday following an attempted robbery.
The fatality sent officers to the city’s East Side around 3:30 a.m., where a bystander had called 911 to report a woman shot numerous times. Responders found the victim outside a home in the 800 block of E. Cook Avenue, just east of Arcade Street. She could not be revived.
A motive for the killing was not immediately clear, but investigators believe it may have been domestic in nature. A potential suspect, thought to be the victim’s ex-boyfriend, was seen running southeast from the scene, according to emergency dispatch audio.
Family and friends later identified the deceased on social media as Annamarie Wagener, 41.
Her death marked the city’s 23rd homicide of the year — and second in as many days — a nearly 50% increase over this point in 2019. The slaying continued a troubling stretch of gun violence in the Twin Cities that shows no sign of letting up.
James Isaacs, who lives down the street, heard a flurry of five gunshots moments before a piercing scream early Thursday. The lifelong East Sider estimates that gunfire has punctuated the air 17 of the past 21 days in this pocket of Payne-Phalen.
“At least around the Fourth of July I could tell my [6-year-old] son it was just fireworks,” said Isaacs, an independent contractor who has considered leaving the neighborhood. “It’s sickening. Enough is enough.”
Across the street, the barrage roused Will James from his sleep. The recent surge in shootings prompted him and his wife to apply for permits to carry a firearm this summer. Now he’s trying to persuade neighbors to get one, too.
“At the end of the day, who’s gonna protect us? We gotta defend ourselves,” said James. The 38-year-old won’t let his youngest daughter play outside without supervision for fear of speeding cars and stray rounds.
“A bullet ain’t got a name on it,” he said, shaking his head.
Earlier Thursday morning, two other back-to-back shootings kept officers busy across town. The first, thought to be an attempted robbery during a marijuana sale, left a 24-year-old woman critically injured with six gunshot wounds.
Officers were en route to the scene on Sherburne Avenue and Rice Street around 12:45 a.m. when Metro Transit employees nearby discovered the victim sitting beside a running vehicle. She was taken to Regions Hospital with wounds to her arm, chest and groin but is expected to survive.
Ten minutes later, officers were dispatched to Victoria Street and Charles Avenue on a report of another shooting and found a man struck in the arm while sitting inside a vehicle peppered with bullet holes.
No arrests have been made in the shootings. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Paul police at 651-266-5650.
A day earlier, police arrested a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of another teenager Tuesday evening on the East Side.
Officers were called about 6 p.m. to the 1200 block of Hazelwood Street near Maryland Avenue, where they found Jorge Batres, 17, of Coon Rapids, in a pickup truck with a gunshot wound to the head.
Witnesses reported someone running from the area following gunfire, and police apprehended the 14-year-old nearby. Charges are pending. The parking space outside the Parkview apartment complex where Batres died is now adorned with flowers, balloons and candles.
Homicides in St. Paul are on track to surpass last year’s tally of 31, while Minneapolis has already exceeded the total number of homicides it had in 2019.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.