Two men and a 17-year-old have been charged in connection with a 14-year-old boy's fatal shooting in the back in Woodbury as he left a high school graduation party.
Jaden L. Townsend, 19, and Enrique L. Davila, 23, of St. Paul, were charged late Thursday in Washington County District Court with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and various assault charges in connection with the killing of Demaris N. Hobbs-Ekdahl of Maplewood last Saturday in the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue during a shootout allegedly involving the teen's stepfather.
Charged by juvenile petition with the same counts was Xavier L. Hudson of Oakdale. Prosecutors have told the court that they intend to request that Hudson be tried as an adult.
All three were charged by warrant, and "their whereabouts are unknown," according to the charging documents.
Earlier this week, Keith Dawson, 35, of St. Paul, was charged with drive-by shooting, assault with a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of a gun for his alleged role in the chain of events that left his 14-year-old stepson dead. Dawson remains jailed in lieu of $175,000 bail.
The single shot that killed Hobbs-Ekdahl first hit the trunk of the car and went through the seat cushion, the charges read. The charges did not provide a motive for the killing or say who fired the fatal shot.
Davila has an extensive criminal history in Minnesota. He has been convicted of hit-and-run driving, first-degree robbery, fleeing police, fifth-degree assault, drug possession and disorderly conduct.
Katie Ekdahl, Demaris' aunt, said a police detective notified the family about the charges and the nationwide manhunt that is underway.
"The problem is that all three have left the state," she said, pointing to Snapchats she said one or more of the fugitives posted since the shooting.
According to the charges against Townsend, Davila and Hudson:
Officers arrived at the scene to find 20 to 30 people inside and outside a garage and dozens of shell casings in the front yard fired by multiple guns. Fresh bullet holes had punctured homes and vehicles nearby.
A woman told police that a white SUV arrived and the driver, later determined to be Dawson, allegedly fired three to four gunshots at two people standing next to a darker SUV. About 15 to 20 shots were returned from the dark SUV, she said.
Dawson was spotted by police driving north on Century Avenue, and he did not stop until arriving at Regions Hospital with Hobbs-Ekdahl in the back seat suffering from "significant injuries." The teen died that night.
Officers learned that people in a car were involved in the shooting and tracked the vehicle to a home in Maplewood. A male at the home said he, Hobbs-Ekdahl and others showed up at the party sometime after 10 p.m.
As they started to leave the party, Townsend and Davila approached. Davila put a gun into the male's ribs and said, "Don't try anything," according to the charges. Townsend then slapped the male across the face, the charges said. Hudson was nearby and also had a gun.
Hobbs-Ekdahl called his stepfather, and he and the others with him met at a nearby car dealership. Hobbs-Ekdahl and his friends drove back to the party in their car, as did Dawson.
That's when Dawson allegedly shot toward the dark SUV associated with Townsend, Davila and Hudson. Gunfire from the dark SUV's direction struck Hobbs-Ekdahl.
Interviews with Hobbs-Ekdahl's friends and others failed to positively identify who shot the teen. One person with Hobbs-Ekdahl told police that he "believed more than one gun was being shot," according to the charges.
Officers went to Hudson's home, where the dark SUV was parked in the drive. No suspects were at the residence. In the garage was a duffel bag containing two handguns, ammunition magazines and a small rifle.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482