Sunday’s Triple Homicide Shook St. Paul’s East Side

Many impromptu tributes can be found in the St. Paul area, where three people were killed on Sunday.

In the Payne-Phalen neighbourhood, a decorated cross and T-shirt mark where 20-year-old Izavier Olguin was shot and died two October ago. The spot is up against a fence in an alleyway. Yuliya Li, 34, a St. Paul resident, was shot and murdered less than a mile west of the shootings on Sunday.

After a fatal attack on an East Side home on Sunday left three people dead and two badly injured, on Monday, neighbours and family members of the victims gathered outside a church to hear police, pastors, and the mayor of the city plead for an end to retaliatory violence.

Payne-Phalen resident and grandmother of three Janis Jaja standing shook her head as she watched her grandsons and a neighbor’s toddler play.

Jaja claimed, “I didn’t know the family.” It may be anyone’s relatives.

St. Paul police have yet to make an arrest in connection with the triple homicide that occurred on Sunday afternoon, which claimed the lives of Angelica Gonzales, 33, Cory Freeman, 42, and Maisha Spaulding, 44.
A St. Paul police official described the attack that took place inside the two-story gray house with red trim and a tattered fence on the 900 block of E. Case Avenue as one of the most “complicated” in the city recently twenty-four hours earlier.

Interim St. Paul Police Chief Jeremy Ellison, who held a press conference Monday afternoon outside the nearby Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, refrained from expanding on the spokesman’s remarks, instead merely stating the number of casualties from gunfire and saying he was mindful of the children in attendance.

Ellison stated, “This is not something that we see in our city.”

The woman who had been carrying the laundry basket waited for her friend’s car to arrive while she waited on the porch of the house across the street from the church where the shooting had taken place. She claimed that she was a resident of the converted duplex’s upper unit and that she was napping there on a Sunday when she heard 11 bullets.

The woman stated, “I’m going to find me a place to stay for a couple days,” but she would not reveal her identity for fear for her own protection. The very fact that I am here has shaken me up quite a bit.

A lot of people have been passing through here, the woman continued.

She walked through a flower monument as she dragged her basket to the corner.

The 27th murder took place in the nation’s capital on Sunday, bringing the total number of murders this year to date to 27.

According to her older sister from St. Paul, Amanda Champion, Gonzales had four children.

As Champion put it, “she’s going to be greatly missed,” though he added that the family doesn’t yet know the specifics. “Totally the wrong spot. Bad timing.”

Ellison said police are certain they are after the appropriate suspect(s) at a press conference held Monday with the African American Leadership Council and the St. Paul Black Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. However, when reporters pressed him for an explanation on Monday, he did not provide one and instead denied that the attack had any domestic motivations.

Many people shared stories of violence they’d witnessed in their own neighborhoods after the official presentation ended.

Keo D. Walker, a participant from the local anti-gun violence organization 21 Days of Peace, stated on Monday, “Just like we’ve seen deaths of COVID, we’ve seen plenty of deaths by people that know each other.”

St. Paul’s Progressive Baptist Church pastor Melvin Miller expressed sorrow at the prevalence of drug abuse and mental illness. One resident of the area spoke of the homes in the area that had been destroyed by the housing crisis of 2008.

Yet there was disagreement even among the most popular responses.
A “divided economy” and cooperation between alternative responders like the ministerial association, the police, and the community were cited by Mayor Melvin Carter. Carter has also seen the dearth of federal or even state-wide legislation concerning gun regulation.

“Carter stated, “We’re looking for the one solution, and there isn’t one. Getting around this obstacle will be difficult.”

They were called to the house 17 times in the past year, according to the police. According to Ellison, the volume of calls doesn’t always tell a problem’s severity. He assured us that a “deep dive” investigation of the calls would be conducted to determine whether any warning indications of impending violence were missed.

After the press conference, an aunt came up to the reporter and said that one of the victims, Freeman, was her nephew. She said she didn’t want to provide her name for fear for her kids’ safety. She claimed that one of her sons heard the gunfire on Sunday from his bedroom window.

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