Rash of gun violence shakes St. Paul

A series of deadly shootings last week — including three in just nine hours — has left a number of St. Paul neighborhoods, including the East Side, shaken. 

The rash of violence started on Sept. 7 in the Battle Creek neighborhood. Police said they were called early in the morning to the 2100 block of Glenridge Avenue on a report of multiple shots fired. When officers arrived, a man, Kacey Feiner, 22 of St. Paul, had already been taken to Regions Hospital for gunshot injuries. He died there later that day from his injuries. 

Another shooting took place on the East Side on Sept. 9 in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. Around 10 p.m., police said they were called to the intersection of Edgerton Street and Case Avenue for a vehicle crash. While on their way, police said they received another call that shots had been fired at the scene of the collision.

Once there, police said they found four vehicles involved in the crash and an uninjured woman whose vehicle had been rear-ended. Police found a man who had been trying to help the woman, later identified as Javier S. Yanez, 31, of St. Paul, with gunshot injuries to his head. St. Paul Fire paramedics attempted to help Yanez, but he died at the scene.

Police said that witnesses saw a man, who was arrested for the shooting, rear-end the woman, pushing her car into a parked car. The man also crashed into a parked car. When Yanez came out of his home near the intersection to help the drivers, the man began shooting, hitting Yanez.

The alleged shooter, Lionel Eaton, a 27-year-old from Roseville, was charged Sept. 11 with second- and third-degree murder.

That same day, St. Paul Police dealt with two more fatal shootings, one at the intersection of Rice Street and Winnipeg Avenue West around 4:30 p.m. and another in the early morning hours of Sept. 10 along University Avenue. 

Following the violence, on Sept. 10 St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter held a press conference outlining a plan to try to curb such bloodshed.

Axtell said he’d be deploying additional officers by calling in staff off work and adding investigators from other departments to solve homicide and gang cases. He also said the department would start using a new technology to be able to more quickly review surveillance video.  

The shootings raised the count of homicides this year in St. Paul to 19.


—Marjorie Otto

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