ST. PAUL — A 16-year-old boy admitted to fatally shooting an 18-year-old rival gang member in broad daylight on St. Paul’s Rice Street last September.
Dimitri Ramon Herndon Jr., who was 15 at the time of the shooting, entered a plea Tuesday, March 10, in Ramsey County District Court on one count of unintentional second-degree murder in the death of Raumez Ross. He entered the plea shortly after he was certified to be tried as an adult in the case.
Ross, of Apple Valley, was shot as he walked down a busy street just before 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9 on the city’s North End.
After he was hit, he went inside a nearby corner store, Winnipeg Grocery and Deli, where he collapsed and died.
Surveillance footage from three businesses in the area caught the shooting on tape, leading police to Herndon, according to the criminal complaint.
The footage reportedly shows the teen gesture toward someone who was standing across the street from him out of camera shot near the Winnipeg market.
Then Herndon took out a gun, pointed it across the street and starting firing, the complaint said.
There were vehicles in the lanes of traffic between the two that were in the line of fire when Herndon shot, and two bullets went through the window of the market.
One of the bullets was found on the floor; the other lodged in a roll of toilet paper on a shelf.
When police arrived at the scene, they found Ross motionless on the floor covered in blood.
The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office determined Ross died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
He initially told officers he had nothing to do with the shooting but changed his story when he found out he was seen on video with a gun.
He told officers someone accompanying Ross that day had a gun and that he only fired his when he saw that person reach for his weapon, according to the complaint.
A witness of the shooting told officers he heard Herndon say “That is the opp” before taking out his gun and firing at Ross, the document continued.
“Opp” refers to a rival gang member.
The shooting took place during a time when there was a “serious and ongoing dispute” in St. Paul between West Side-affiliated gangs and East Side-affiliated gangs, the complaint said.
Ross’ death was one of three that took place in a span of eight hours in St. Paul that week, which prompted the city’s police chief to deploy additional officers.
Authorities say the gang disputes are ongoing.
Herndon is scheduled to be sentenced April 1.
Ross’ aunt remembered him as loyal, saying she would never forget the talks they had or his smile. Ross, who was known as “Mezzy,” turned 18 the month before he died.