Charges: Annoyed by kids in car looking at him, man fatally shot teen
A St. Paul man on supervised release for a previous crime was charged Wednesday in the fatal East Side shooting death of an 18-year-old on Sunday night.
Dennis John Edmondson, 37, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with three counts of second-degree murder (with intent, drive-by shooting and while committing a felony) and one count of illegally possessing a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint, Edmondson was annoyed by a Jeep full of mostly juveniles who kept pulling up at stop lights beside the car he was riding in and looking at him.
Around 8:40 p.m., at a red light near the Burger King on East Seventh Street in St. Paul, Edmondson yelled, “What the (expletive) are you looking at?” the complaint states.
Witnesses told police they saw Edmondson point a gun out of the car window and shoot at the Jeep, according to the complaint. His girlfriend, who was driving, told police Edmondson “shot first because they thought the people in the Jeep were going to shoot at them,” the complaint states.
Lavonte Baymon-Love, 18, the driver of the Jeep, died after being shot in the neck and head.
The girlfriend said Edmonson’s 6-year-old daughter was in the car with them at the time.
Other witnesses told police about a preceding altercation with a separate party at M&H gas station on Arcade Street.
A witness, identified as “DK” in the complaint, said she and a friend had been at the gas station. Her friend had approached Edmondson, trying to sell him some clothing. She said the man became verbally upset and aggressive. He held a gun inside his pocket and said, “I will shoot you,” before he got into a black Ford Taurus and left, the complaint states.
DK said she drove out of the gas station behind the Taurus and witnessed Edmondson shoot at the Jeep, the complaint said. She also said she heard gunshots from two weapons and saw three flashes inside the Jeep. She pulled over to help when the Jeep crashed.
Officers located five .40-caliber casings in the area of East Seventh and Mounds Boulevard. They also found a spent .22-caliber round on the road near the Jeep and additional spent .22-caliber casings and unfired bullets inside the Jeep.
Edmondson was arrested Monday at a residence in the 600 block of Cook Avenue in St. Paul. Investigators attempted to speak to him, but said he was “agitated and rambled about Allah, and the interview was terminated because it did not seem as though it would be fruitful,” the complaint states.
He was charged in 2010 with raping a 13-year-old baby-sitter. During that investigation, a witness reported that Edmondson had a 16-year-old girlfriend who had a baby with him. Police determined she would have been 14 when she became pregnant, and prosecutors charged him with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Edmondson pleaded guilty in both cases. He was released from prison to supervised release in 2018. His sentence included lifetime supervision.
A warrant had been out for Edmondson since October; it was issued because he hadn’t been following the terms of his supervised release, according to a Ramsey County Community Corrections representative.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Edmondson was in the Ramsey County jail. His next court appearance is Oct. 15.
Roxanne Will, Baymon-Love’s grandmother, said the family is trying to cope with what they said was a senseless tragedy.
“It just breaks my heart because Lavonte wasn’t out there looking for trouble,” Will said. “That wasn’t his character. He was a good kid, an all-around good kid.”
Will said her grandson and Edmondson did not know each other and that he was “just going to run to the gas station and go right back home.”
Baymon-Love was born in St. Paul to Coco Shanelle Love, Will said. He had four younger siblings. He graduated from Face to Face Academy, a charter school on Arcade Street, in spite of spending weeks in the hospital in May 2020 recovering neck and back injuries sustained in a car crash. He was still figuring out his next steps in life, she said.
“We lost a beautiful, beautiful person,” she said. “He was very respectful. He loved everybody and he was very loved.”