St. Paul leaders seek help finding more on triple fatal shooting

Interim chief says police may know who is responsible, declined to offer details

A collection of St. Paul leaders stand behind the mayor near a microphone.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter speaks at a press conference Monday calling for those who can help with the investigation of the triple fatal shooting on Sunday to come forward.
Nina Moini | MPR News

Updated: Sept. 5, 3:35 p.m. | Posted: Sept. 4, 9:21 p.m.

St. Paul community leaders and police asked for help Monday in the investigation of the shooting that left three people dead and two others injured in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood Sunday night.

Officers arrived at the 900 block of Case Avenue East around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, after getting a report that multiple people had been shot. They found two people with gunshot wounds outside a residence. Officers were then told that there were more people inside who had been shot.

St. Paul city leaders update triple fatal shooting

The three shooting victims inside were pronounced dead on scene. The two victims outside were taken to a hospital for treatment.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified the victims Monday: Angelica M. Gonzales, 33; Cory U. Freeman, 42; and Maisha M. Spaulding, 44. All three were residents of St. Paul, according to the medical examiner’s report.

Police are still searching for the person or people responsible for the shooting, and didn’t release any information about the identity of the victims or the exact circumstances of the shooting.

A collection of flowers sits outside a building.
A memorial sits outside the scene of a triple fatal shooting in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood Sunday night.
Nina Moini | MPR News

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter asked that anyone with information regarding the shooting to come forward, adding that St. Paul Police Department would hold perpetrators responsible.

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“Somebody knows what happened last night. Somebody knows who did it last night. I’m calling on those individuals to come forward,” Carter said. “We will get to the bottom of this, and those who were responsible will be held accountable for their actions.”

Interim Police Chief Jeremy Ellison said investigators believe they know who is responsible for the shooting, however he did not release details on how many suspects are being sought in connection to the violence.

“This is not something that the police can do alone,” Ellison said.

The investigation so far has no evidence the shootings were connected to domestic violence.

Police say the residence has been the scene of 17 previous police calls.

When asked by a reporter if it is unusual for an address to be the source for so many calls for service, Ellison said, “The number of calls is not necessarily indicative of a specific problem.”

Rev. Melvin Miller, senior pastor at Progressive Baptist Church, offered prayers for the families of the victims as well as for the person or people who committed the shootings. Miller also called for an end to retaliatory violence.

”The way to honor the legacy of those who are deceased is not more violence,” said Miller. “We are asking that you … who knew and loved the individuals — that you would not retaliate.”

The three deaths bring the total number of homicides investigated by St. Paul police this year to 27.

Saturday: St. Paul police press briefing