A St. Paul resident was charged Wednesday with felony assault for shooting a man who fled onto his property while being pursued by police.
Vincent N. Trotter, 36, was charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the gunfire at his house in the 600 block of Cook Avenue on the city's East Side.
Trotter was jailed and soon released on $20,000 bail before his first court appearance Friday. Messages were left for him seeking his account of the incident.
A 20-year-old man with an extensive criminal history was shot in the foot and left buttocks, treated for his injuries at a hospital and jailed on suspicion of car theft.
The gunfire erupted outside the home, which has a sign in a front window that reads: "No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!" The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.
Exterior security video from Trotter's home, viewed by police, showed the young man walking up to the house's unenclosed porch and sitting down with his back against a side door, the criminal complaint read.
"At no time did he attempt to open the door or access the home," the complaint said.
Trotter was holding a handgun when officers arrived, according to the complaint. He put the weapon on the ground as police directed.
"I pull up, and he's by my door," the complaint quoted Trotter telling police at the scene. "I told him don't move, he moves, and I let three or four rounds go. I see blood, so I think I hit him. I carry a .45 [caliber] gun."
Trotter has a state-issued permit to carry a firearm, the charging document revealed.
The wounded man told police he was "just walking through the yard" when Trotter arrived in a vehicle and began yelling, the complaint read. He went on to say that he began walking away and Trotter yelled, "Don't turn around" before shooting.
He also denied to police having anything to do with the stolen car, which crashed about an hour earlier at a busy intersection roughly a quarter-mile south of the shooting scene.
Charges against the suspected auto thief are pending as he remains in jail on charges in an unrelated felony case also involving a car theft on March 30 in St. Paul. His criminal history includes two convictions for auto theft, and one each for a weapons violation and burglary. He also has an auto-theft charge pending from December, according to court records.
Trotter has no history of committing crimes in Minnesota beyond many traffic and parking violations, court records show.
The crash involving the stolen car occurred at Payne and Jenks avenues while police were in pursuit. Someone ran from the vehicle after it crashed, and at one time three suspects in all were being sought, according to emergency dispatch audio.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482