Ronald Hill was out to get a wallet, police said.
Now, he's got a murder rap on his hands.
He did it, prosecutors say, with five bullets fired into his victim, who lay wounded on the ground.
Hill was at the American Legion bar at 976 Concordia Ave. in St. Paul about 1 a.m. Saturday, police said. The bar was a favorite watering hole of Jeffery Lamont Logan, 44, who was there with his cousin.
When Logan and his cousin went out to the parking lot, Hill also left the bar and confronted them there, according to a criminal complaint.
Then this happened, according to the complaint:
Hill demanded, pointing a Beretta 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, "Give me your wallet — you know what the (expletive) this is."
The cousin removed what little was in his pockets: a $5 bill. But Logan — who was unarmed — fought back, pulling Hill's T-shirt over his head while Hill aimed his pistol at him.
Logan was hit. He tried to run. Hill pursued him, firing several shots as Logan held up his hands.
Logan fell to the ground, saying, "I'm hit!"
Hill ran up to Logan, who was on the ground and raising his hands, saying, "No, man, no!"
"Are you seriously going to do this?" Logan asked, according to witnesses.
Logan was hit six times. Paramedics found him lying in a nearby alley and pronounced him dead.
Hill, 20, of West St. Paul, was charged Monday with second-degree intentional murder. He was being held in Ramsey County jail with bail set at $1 million.
"This was a senseless, cold-blooded murder of a defenseless victim," said Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner. "It defies understanding."
Police also arrested two other men who were with Hill in a getaway car that crashed Saturday. Elston Marc Williamson, 28, and Henry Marcello Reed, 27, both of St. Paul, were released upon further investigation, the Ramsey County attorney's office said.
According to the criminal complaint, Williamson ran into the other two men at the bar. When he left and got into his Lincoln Town Car, he told police, he saw Hill pointing a gun with laser sights at an "old guy" with a second "older guy" next to him. It looked like Hill and one of the men were having an argument, then he saw Hill shoot the man, Williamson said. He then saw Hill stand over the victim and fire several more shots.
Reed initially denied knowing anything about the murder. He then told police he saw Hill trying to rob two "old guys." He saw Logan try to fight back by pulling on Hill's shirt and hitting Hill in the face, but Logan was running toward his car when Hill shot him, Reed said.
Hill then stood over Logan, emptying five more bullets into the man as he lay defenseless, Reed said.
Police said Reed and Hill then got into Williamson's car. Williamson claimed he was forced at gunpoint to be the getaway driver.
Officers trailed the Lincoln as it sped east on Carroll Avenue near Victoria Street, running stop signs along the way. Police caught up to the car when it crashed at the roundabout at Laurel Avenue and St. Albans Street.
Williamson said he had been kidnapped and purposely crashed the car. The other two men ran, but were tracked down with the help of a police dog.
Police found several 9 mm shell casings at the murder scene. They also found a Beretta 9 mm pistol with laser sights and an Iver Johnson revolver under a house on the route Reed and Hill had taken when they ran. Both were loaded. Reed denied having a gun or shooting a gun.
Hill has no previous convictions, according to state records.
Logan was a regular at the American Legion bar, which was in his neighborhood, said his brother, Charles Walker Jr. He was single, with no children, but had many family members he cared for deeply, Walker said.
Born with just one hand, Logan nevertheless played basketball and football and ran track at Highland Park High School, Walker said. He later attended St. Paul College and worked for Deluxe Corp. but was laid off a few years ago.
Wounded, he begged for mercy in a St. Paul parking lot. His killer refused, shooting him 5 more times. - TwinCities.com
I guess we can only wonder how this would have turned out, had Mr. Logan or his cousin had the presence of mind to be armed. We're currently at under 1% of MN residents having permits, and the number is falling.
This happened only a few miles from my house. I think we can all agree that we're going to see an explosion of these types of crimes in the coming days....especially with the cuts in social programs that are sure to come.