Charges announced in Aug. 28 South St. Paul drive-by shooting

On Aug. 31, five suspects were formally charged in connection with a drive-by shooting that took place the night of Aug. 28 in South St. Paul.

Erik Dontez Poe, 18, of Burnsville; Juan Carlos Rojas, 19, of Burnsville; Tyrone Lamar Farrow, 37, of Big Lake; Cheridan Bree Redmond, 19, of Inver Grove Heights; and Sopearvy Ogbondah Michelle Sam-Farrow, 18, of West St. Paul, were all are charged with drive-by shooting and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

The maximum penalty for drive-by shooting is 10 years, $20,000 fine, or both.

According to court documents, around 10 p.m. on Aug. 28, a South St. Paul police officer responded to the 900 block of Warner Avenue after receiving a report from a woman that she was receiving threatening text messages and a gun had been mentioned. An officer had spoken with the reporting party roughly 30 minutes prior regarding an ongoing argument between her and two former friends who were later identified as Redmond and Sam-Farrow. As the responding officer was about half a block south of his destination, he noticed a dark colored SUV slowly driving westbound on Warner Avenue past the residence he was responding to. 

As the car came into the officer’s view, the officer heard gunshots in rapid succession and also saw several flashes of light coming from the passenger side of the vehicle at the same time as the gunshots.

According to court documents, the officer pursued the SUV, which made several turns and ended up in a cul-de-sac. Two men fled from the front seat while a third remained in the back seat. The man in the back seat was later identified as Farrow, who was the owner of the SUV and father of Sam-Farrow. Court documents said the officer saw several spent shell casing from a pistol inside the SUV. The two who fled were later identified as Poe and Rojas.

Police learned that at the time of the shooting, four individuals were outside the Warner Avenue residence, and two had been shot. The victims, a man and a woman, were transported to a hospital. One victim suffered gunshot wounds to both her legs, abdomen, the right side of her body, the back of her right shoulder, right arm and chest. The second victim suffered two injuries to his head, two injuries to his left foot and one to his right leg. Shell casings were found outside the residence.

A convoluted chain of events led to the shooting, including a botched marijuana sale and a planned fight in a park. All five charged denied being involved with the shooting or claimed they didn’t know it was going to happen; Farrow told police he was asleep in the SUV when the shooting started.

Each defendant will make their first court appearance on different dates.

 

— Hannah Burlingame

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