Woman, two children dead in St. Paul shooting

Police respond to a shooting scene
St. Paul police said three people died in a shooting on Saturday on the 700 block of Jessie Street.
St. Paul Police Department photo

Updated: 9:55 p.m.

St. Paul police say they're looking for at least one suspect after a shooting that left a woman and two children dead on Saturday afternoon.

The shooting was reported just after 3 p.m. at a home on the 700 block of Jessie Street, on the city's east side about a mile northeast of downtown. People who called 911 told responding officers that people were injured inside the residence.

Officers found three people with gunshot wounds. A woman in her 30s and a girl in her early teens were pronounced dead at the scene. A boy, who police said was about 8 to 12 years old, was transported to Regions Hospital and died several hours later.

"This is a senseless tragedy that's left us all heartbroken — as police officers, as human beings, as members of the community," St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said in a statement.

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Investigators remained at the scene on Saturday night, and police said they are looking for the "person or people responsible" for the shooting.

"Our investigators are working through the details of what occurred out there (today), trying to put together what led to this shooting and who was there," St. Paul police spokesperson Sgt. Mike Ernster said.

Ernster said authorities don't believe it was a random crime, and he said there's no indication of a risk to the public.

The victims' names have not been released.

In a Facebook post Saturday night, Axtell said officers found a "hellish scene" at the home. He wrote that officers and investigators "are out there right now looking for the person who inflicted so much unthinkable pain on the victims, their loved ones, and the entire city."

Authorities said a police officer had been at the residence about an hour before the shooting was reported, on a welfare check called in by a concerned family member.

The officer spoke with a woman at the door of the home, and police said she told the officer she was OK. She declined an offer to speak with the out-of-town relatives by phone. It's believed that the woman is among those who died.

Saturday's shooting happened only blocks from the scene of a shooting that claimed the lives of two men early on the morning of Jan. 21. In that case, the two victims were found outside near the corner of Payne Avenue and North Street; at last report there had not been any arrests.

Ernster said that as of Saturday night, there was no indication the two shootings are connected.