Man charged with murder in fatal shooting near Lake Street in Minneapolis

A 25-year-old Minneapolis man has been charged with second-degree murder after a fatal shooting near Lake Street last week.

Damarean Kaylon Bible appeared in court Wednesday, where bail was set at $1 million. He remained in the Hennepin County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Bible is accused of fatally shooting 38-year-old Savannah Ryan Williams. The Minnesota Legislature’s Queer Legislative Caucus issued a statement Wednesday calling Williams “a beloved member of the transgender community.”

“We stand in collective grief and outrage at the senseless murder of Savannah Ryan Williams,” the statement read. “This heinous act of violence not only extinguishes a vibrant life but serves as a stark reminder of the dangers and discrimination faced by sex workers and transgender individuals, particularly BIPOC transgender women, and femmes. Transphobia has reached a crisis point, claiming lives with alarming frequency.”

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According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police were called to the 3000 block of Fourth Avenue South, just south of Lake Street, at about 9 a.m. on Nov. 29, on a report of a person down and not breathing in a courtyard. Officers found the victim, dead from a gunshot wound at close range.

Witnesses told police they had heard a gunshot at about 5:45 a.m. that day and saw a man walking away from the scene. Surveillance video showed the victim and a man walking toward the scene of the shooting at about 5 a.m., and the man — allegedly Bible — later leaving alone and heading to a downtown apartment.

Bible was arrested, and a search of the apartment turned up a handgun and a rifle. After Bible was arrested, the complaint alleges, he called his father from jail.

“During one of the calls he told his dad that he ‘just murdered someone,’” the complaint alleges. “He stated he felt sorry for killing victim and knew he wasn’t God, but he ‘had to do it.’”

Bible later allegedly admitted to investigators that he shot the victim after a sex act, saying she “made him feel suspicious.”

The complaint does not elaborate further on a potential motive for the shooting. Bible is due back in court on Jan. 9.