Behind the appalling national statistics on gun violence are individual and too often completely senseless tragedies. Here's one from my e-mail today...
Statement of probable cause, Ramsey County, Minn.:
On August 3, 2015, at 18:04 hours, St. Paul squads responded to a shooting at 1560 Ames Ave., St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. Upon arrival, officers located several people standing up on the front porch of a building at the south end of the parking lot. They were yelling and screaming loudly. Officers located one person down on the front porch. His shirt was soaked in blood. He was later identified as PMR, DOB: 03/04/1989. He died at the scene from gunshot wounds.
Witnesses told police that the shooter was sitting on the curb in front of 1560 Ames, Unit C. Police observed a male, later identified as the defendant, LEPIERRE CORTIA CARPENTER, DOB: 02/19/1991. As police looked at the defendant, he put his hands up above his head, began to stand up and said, “It’s me.” Police approached him and handcuffed him. He offered no resistance. They asked the defendant about the gun and he said, “It’s up on the step.” Officers secured the defendant in a squad car. During that process he uttered, “I let my rage get the best of me.” He later asked, “How much time do you think I’m looking at for something like this?”
Officers located a firearm on the left side of the sidewalk just below the stairs connected to the porch in front of 1560 Ames, Unit D. It was a black Springfield .45 caliber handgun. Officers also observed and recovered an empty gun magazine and a spent shell casing on the porch near the steps. Police recovered two additional shell casings from the front porch area of Unit C which is adjacent to Unit D and shares a porch separated by a partial divider, about 2 feet high.
Police learned that the defendant resides in C with his girlfriend and her two young daughters. The female residents of C were not home during the incident. The deceased’s girlfriend, KNS, DOB: 12/15/1990, and her 3-year-old daughter, live in D. PMR did not live there, but visited frequently. KNS said that she did not know her neighbors and had very little interaction with them. She denied any kind of dispute with her neighbors. She could not understand why the defendant shot her boyfriend.
KNS told police that she and her daughter were present on their front porch with PMR just prior to the shooting. PMR saw his male friend walking near the apartment complex. PMR yelled, “Where your fat ass going?” The friend replied that he was going to the store. PMR then teased his friend about his girlfriend making him walk to the store when he has a car. She, her daughter, and the victim all had their backs to the porch in front of Unit C. She heard gunshots. She heard PMR say, “Why?” He then fell to the ground. She grabbed her daughter to protect her and saw the defendant throw a black handgun in her yard. He then walked back into Unit C. She saw the clip separate from the handgun when it was thrown. The defendant then came back out of C and sat down on the steps until police arrived.
Police interviewed PMR’s male friend, who corroborated this account of the incident. He stated that he was leaving his girlfriend’s residence to walk to the store. He and PMR exchanged some friendly banter. He crossed the street to head to the store when he heard shots. He heard people yelling and screaming. He ran back to the area and saw that PMR had been shot. He saw the defendant with a black handgun in his hand. The defendant threw the handgun down to the ground, ran into Unit C, then walked out and sat on the steps in front of C. He said that KNS asked the defendant why he shot her boyfriend. The defendant replied, “That’s what he gets for talking shit.” KNS told him that PMR was talking to his friend and was not directing his comments to the defendant. The defendant said nothing else and just waited for police.
Police also interviewed the defendant’s sister, who was in Unit C at the time of the shooting. She was there with her two young nieces. She was crying. She stated, “I can’t believe he did that.” She was visiting and does not live in Unit C. She said, “I tried to stop him, I should have done more.” She thought the neighbors were harassing her brother. She added, “That doesn’t give him the right to do what he did.” She later told police that her brother and the victim had been arguing about drugs over Facebook for the last two or three months. She said her brother was very agitated before the shooting and was walking toward the door with his handgun. She said he has a permit to carry the gun. She tried to stop him, but he went outside. She heard three gunshots. He came back inside after the shots and then went out and sat on the steps.
The defendant declined a formal police interview and requested a lawyer...