From the witness stand inside a Ramsey County courtroom Thursday, Kevaughn Wiley remembered a carefree night with his sister Marquisha Wiley as she danced and chatted inside the crowded Seventh Street Truck Park Bar on Oct. 10, 2021.
The night was warm, the windows were open, and the bar was unusually crowded. Just moments and a flurry of gunshots later, Marquisha Wiley was in her brother's arms, motionless and dying from a single gunshot wound, one among many allegedly fired by Terry Lorenzo Brown as patrons, many wounded and bleeding, scrambled for cover.
Kevaughn Wiley said he tried to comfort his sister, assuring her that everything would be OK. But she died in his arms in one of the worst mass shootings in St. Paul's history.
"I'm looking at this man that killed my best friend, my sis, my everything," Wiley testified, stopping at times to wipe away tears. "She was beautiful, loving, caring. She was one of those people that lit up the room when she walked in, no matter where it was. She was like the glue to our family."
Wiley's testimony was part of the second-degree murder trial of Brown, 34, who is accused of exchanging gunfire with another patron, killing Marquisha Wiley and injuring 14 others. He was among about a dozen witnesses who testified of the terror inside the bar, leaving even the physically unscathed with lasting trauma.
Prosecutors allege that Brown and Devondre Phillips had a simmering dispute involving Phillips' cousin, whom Brown had dated.
Brown faces one count of murder, four counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Brown's lawyer argued that Brown was an innocent man looking to enjoy the night with friends before Phillips, 31, fired at him. A jury found Phillips, of Las Vegas, guilty of eight counts of attempted murder following days of emotional testimony in early February. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23.
Security guard Damian Winfield, who was working the night of the shooting, testified that he and another guard were outside when "a lot of pops started popping off."
High-definition security camera footage played during the trial shows the moment when people realized the pops were gunshots. Partygoers ducked and dived to the floor. Others crawled across tables and people to escape. Some of that footage captured the muzzle flash as Brown and Phillips fired at each other, tracking bullets as they flew across the crowded bar.
Ian Wiersma, 31, was there celebrating with his brother when one of those bullets pierced his left ankle. Wiersma collapsed, looking down to see blood spill out of his ankle and onto the floor.
"I was in the middle of what seemed like a gunfight," Wiersma said during his testimony. "It happened so quickly, and the shock factor was pretty high."
The injury fractured bones and required Wiersma to get 10 surgeries within seven months.
St. Paul police officer Joshua Needham was one of the first officers on the scene and helped tend to Wiersma's wounds. Needham's body-camera footage showed people screaming for help along the sidewalk outside the bar. One man tried to stop Needham, asking if his sister inside the bar was OK.
"[It was] chaos, for lack of a better term," Needham said. "People screaming everywhere, pointing to different huddles of people on the sidewalk."
Testimony for the prosecution is set to continue Monday. The trial is expected to wrap up within two weeks.