A 24-year-old Richfield man was charged Monday with second-degree murder in the case of Minneapolis' first homicide of the year.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday that Brandon Deandre Bell was charged in the Jan. 23 shooting of 61-year-old Darnell Harris of Minneapolis.
Harris was shot in the right leg in Minneapolis, outside 4453 First Ave. South. He died three days later of complications from the bullet wound.
According the criminal complaint, witnesses provided police with surveillance tape of the area. The tape showed two vehicles pull up and park. Then, a man got out of one vehicle and fired multiple shots at the other vehicle as it pulled away.
Harris drove away with a wounded leg, and the Minnesota State Patrol reported that they found him in his vehicle, off the road to an Interstate 35W entrance ramp. He slipped in and out of consciousness as he described the incident to police, according to the complaint.
"The only lesson to be learned from this tragedy is that once a bullet is fired, there is no telling what damage it will do," Freeman said in a statement. "At first, this looked like it would be a minor injury and we would charge some sort of an aggravated assault. But the leg wound killed Mr. Harris and we are now charging a murder and will pursue it aggressively."
Bell told police after he was arrested that Harris stole between $10,000 and $12,000 from him after Bell lent him money to go to Colorado and buy marijuana, according to the complaint. The two met for a drug deal the day of the shooting, and Bell decided to rob the victim of drugs and money instead, he told police. He said the shots were fired by accident, according to the complaint.
The second-degree murder charge comes with a possible sentencing of three to 40 years.