A man has been charged with murder in the fatal drive-by shooting of a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's vehicle with three young children aboard.
Gabriella Dehoyos was the victim of Monday's shooting, according to St. Paul police. She was pronounced dead on Tuesday at 7:08 p.m., making her the city's seventh homicide victim this year. Her fetus died as well.
Paul Dwayne Harris, 24, was charged Friday with second-degree murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with Dehoyos' death. He was booked into the Ramsey County jail on Thursday.
According to the charges against Harris:
Dehoyos, her boyfriend, another passenger, and her three young children were driving together when the shooting happened. Dehoyos' boyfriend said that he was driving west on St. Anthony Avenue in a black Kia Rondo SUV when a silver Ford sedan approached from behind. The boyfriend moved to the left lane to turn onto Marion Street when the Ford sedan moved to the passenger side of his car.
Looking at the sedan, the boyfriend recognized a man with the street name "PAULYP" behind the steering wheel pointing a handgun toward them. Investigators later determined that "PAULYP" was Paul Harris.
The boyfriend ducked, yanking the steering wheel left to turn onto Marion Street as Harris' bullet shattered the rear passenger window. Minnesota Department of Transportation footage reviewed by police showed that the Kia turned in front of vehicles at the intersection into the wrong lane of traffic, narrowly avoiding a crash as they sped from Harris. Officers later recovered a spent bullet casing from the scene.
Minutes later the boyfriend arrived with Dehoyos at Regions Hospital. Documents say that he was distraught, and Dehoyos was unconscious with a bullet wound in her head.
Staff immediately brought Dehoyos in for surgery, but they could detect no brain activity. She died shortly after. The Ramsey County medical examiner determined that the gunshot wound killed Dehoyos, noting that she was in the early gestational period of her pregnancy.
"Gabby loved everyone and was so precious, her smile, her laugh, her energy and her presence was so genuine. She was loved by many and has touched a lot of lives in so many different ways," read a GoFundMe post from Nisha Reed, Dehoyos' aunt.
Police tracked down Harris on Thursday, pulling him and his girlfriend over at a Holiday gas station in Jordan. Harris' girlfriend denied knowing about the shooting when interviewed by law enforcement. She said the two had planned to visit Harris' friend in North or South Dakota, and she didn't think Harris would return to Minnesota with her afterward.
Harris' girlfriend said she was at work until 5 p.m. the day of the shooting, but changed her story when asked if her workplace could verify that. She then said that she left work early and was home by 3 p.m. Monday, taking a nap with her baby and waking up later when Harris arrived at her home. She said he likely had just used her car, a gray 2019 Ford Fusion sedan, because he doesn't have one.
Harris also denied knowledge about the shooting, telling investigators that his girlfriend dropped him off for work that day at 7 a.m. and that he was picked up by his grandmother around 11 or noon. He said he didn't remember anything after that, and did not know where his phone was. He did confirm that his street nickname is "Pauly."
Harris is not supposed to have a gun because of a 2018 burglary case involving him in juvenile court. Friday's charging documents say he's been convicted twice for possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, and was on supervised release for his executed 60-month prison sentence at the time of the shooting.
Harris will make his first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on Monday.