Charges filed against four in Mall of America homicide on Christmas weekend

Everyone charged in the case is 18-years-old or younger.

charges
Taeshawn Adams Wright (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

Charges were filed Thursday against four people related to the Mall of America Christmas weekend homicide of 19-year-old Johntae Raymon Hudson inside the Nordstrom department store last Friday.

Following the arrest of five people on Saturday at a St. Louis Park apartment and two charging deadline extensions this week, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged TaeShawn Adams-Wright, 18, of north Minneapolis with one count of aid/abet second-degree murder and one count of aid/abet second-degree assault.

A nationwide warrant has been issued for 17-year-old Lavon Longstreet on the same charges, WCCO reported. Longstreet is not in custody and is believed to be out of state.

Two unnamed 17-year-old juvenile accomplices were also charged with aid/abet second-degree riot.

The criminal complaint says that most of the altercation and subsequent shooting were captured on surveillance video. The video shows a group of multiple males pursuing Hudson inside the department store. The males are identified in the complaint as Adams-Wright, L.L. (Longstreet), J.H. and M.T.

Two witnesses saw two men brandishing semi-automatic handguns with extended magazines who argued with Hudson before chasing and shooting at him eight to 10 times. J.H. and M.T. are described in the complaint as blocking or confronting Hudson as Adams-Wright and Longstreet ran toward Hudson while holding firearms.

Multiple store displays were knocked over in the fray and Hudson was tackled to the floor by J.H. who ran off as shots were allegedly fired by Longstreet and Adams-Wright. The video view was partially blocked by store displays but captured a gun being pointed at Hudson as well as muzzle flashes, the complaint says.

Spent casings from three guns were found at the scene, including 9mm and .40 cal. The complaint says that some of the .40 cal casings were from Hudson’s gun which was found near him following the shooting.

As the shooting was unfolding, a mother and her teenage daughter were shopping in the men’s department. The video captured them falling to the ground and trying to take cover just feet from where the shots were being fired. The mother noticed that her coat had a bullet hole in it after the shooting and her buttock was injured, apparently from a bullet that grazed her during the shooting.

The suspects fled the store after the shooting.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges stated in a prior press conference that police were able to identify two of the juvenile suspects which helped lead to the identity and location of the others. The complaint says that cellphone data was used to locate the suspects at the St. Louis Park apartment building. Police were also able to match up social media videos posted by the suspects around the time of the shooting and found clothing at the apartment that was worn by the suspects in the various videos.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office examined Hudson’s body and determined that he sustained multiple gunshot wounds causing his death, including eight gunshot wounds to his back, arm, buttocks, and thigh and three additional graze wounds on his thigh.

Adams-Wright remains in custody on $1.5 million bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday. Teens J.H. and M.T. made appearances in juvenile court on Thursday, the Star Tribune reported. Prosecutors are seeking to charge one of them as an adult.

Another 18-year-old man who was arrested with the group in St. Louis Park has not been charged at this time and was released from custody Thursday afternoon.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.