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St. Paul police investigating city's 21st slaying this year

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A police officer stands near a yellow police tape line
St. Paul police Sgt. Mike Ernster talked about the city's 21st homicide of the year Tuesday as family members of the victim looked on at the intersection of Mendota Street and Fremont Avenue in the city's Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.
Tim Nelson | MPR News

Updated: Sept. 25, 12:53 a.m. | Posted: Sept. 24, 9:31 p.m.

St. Paul police were investigating the shooting death of a man in the city’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood Tuesday evening, authorities said.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of Fremont Avenue E. and Mendota Street at around 7:30 p.m. The slaying is the 21st to date this year and the seventh this month in the capital city.

Authorities had not released the victim’s name or age. Police said they were looking for any information that could lead them to a suspect in the fatal shooting. Investigators were also looking at cameras in the area to potentially help in their investigation.

St. Paul police spokesperson Sgt. Mike Ernster said that police got multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired on the 500 block of Mendota Street. Officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest, and although paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Family members said he was a 36-year-old St. Paul man, originally from Chicago, but he hasn't yet been formally identified by authorities.

The spate of violence has alarmed community leaders as well as the police chief and the mayor.

During a late Tuesday press conference, Ernster said the city has recorded 119 shootings to date this year. That compares to 112 at that same time period in 2018, he said. He also said of the 21 homicides, 19 were gun-related.

"These numbers are concerning and, as you recall, the chief and the mayor stood together, formulating a plan to address gun violence in the city of St. Paul, and we've had some successes," Ernster said.

Anyone who was near the area Tuesday or who knows what happened was asked to call the department’s homicide unit at 651-266-5650.