Authorities on Monday filed murder charges and identified the man who was fatally shot in St. Paul over the weekend at a "nightmare" home that fire officials suspect was later set ablaze.
The body of Ervin L. Dukes III, 31, of Hastings, was located by police Saturday afternoon at the home in the 800 block of E. Lawson Avenue.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene after he was shot in the upper body. His death was St. Paul's 24th homicide of the year.
Two people from Red Wing were arrested Sunday in the city south of the metro in connection with Dukes' death Saturday.
Daniel M. Sheppard, 43, of Hastings, was charged Monday afternoon with two counts of second-degree murder in the killing of Dukes. A 35-year-old woman was being held on suspicion of aiding and abetting him. She has yet to be charged. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.
According to the charges:
A witness to the shooting said Sheppard and Dukes got in an argument after Sheppard felt he had been disrespected. Sheppard then shot Dukes in the chest. Sheppard pointed the gun at others in the room and fled.
At the time of his arrest, Sheppard was in a car and had the gun with him.
Sheppard's criminal history includes various convictions for weapons offenses, robbery assault and receiving stolen property. Also pending in Ramsey County are charges for kidnapping and illegal possession of a firearm.
A 37-year-old man showed up at the home about 2:20 a.m. Sunday while intoxicated and "attempted to enter the crime scene that was protected by crime scene tape and monitored by officers," said police Sgt. Mike Ernster.
The man was told by police to leave, but he sat down on the driveway, defying officers' orders, Ernster said. Police arrested him and booked him in jail on suspicion of obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor.
Police left the scene about 9 a.m. only to return about two hours later with firefighters after "witnesses reported smoke and flames coming from the house," the sergeant said. The blaze was extinguished, and no injuries were reported.
"The fire investigator did collect evidence from the scene that indicated the fire was intentionally set," said Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso. An official determination awaits chemical tests by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Mokosso said.
Ernster said the residence has been connected to 170 911 calls this year, including drug offenses, property crimes and disorderly conduct.
Al Thompson, who lives nearby, said, "That house has been a nightmare to our neighborhood. We hear gunshots almost on a daily basis just from that address.
"This was going to be my kids' bus stop if they were not distance learning. I am so glad I do not have to worry about that address."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482