Alleged robber shot during attempted Inver Grove Heights heist facing federal charges

Jamaal Marquie Mays

State charges against a Crystal man allegedly involved in an Aug. 17 attempted armed robbery of an Inver Grove Heights cell phone store have been dropped in favor of federal charges.

Jamaal Marquie Mays, 32, was charged Aug. 28 in Dakota County with first-degree aggravated robbery and two firearms violations for the alleged attempted robbery of The Cellular Connection store on Cahill Avenue, during which he was shot twice by the store clerk.

On Oct. 18, Mays was indicted on federal charges, including interference with commerce by robbery, using a firearm during a crime of violence and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Because of the federal indictment, according to a statement from the Inver Grove Heights Police Department, the state charges against Mays were dropped. 

He is currently in federal custody awaiting trial. 

On Aug. 17, Mays and a still-unidentified man allegedly entered The Cellular Connection store in the 9000 block of Cahill Avenue. Around 11 a.m., Inver Grove Heights police were dispatched to the store on a report of a robbery in progress. 

Upon arrival, officers encountered an employee who said he shot one of the robbery suspects in self defense — the person who was shot was later identified as Mays. The employee had put both his gun and a gun that allegedly belonged to Mays on a window ledge, and the employee showed the officer his permit to carry. 

The gun identified as allegedly belonging to Mays had the serial number scratched off. 

Mays had been shot twice and was given first aid before he was transported to Regions Hospital. 

According to police, in an interview the cell phone store employee told officers that Mays and another man entered the store and asked for assistance in looking at phones. The employee showed the men several phones, but was suspicious because they kept wanting to look at different phones. 

While in the back room to get a phone, the employee observed movement on a security video monitor. When he exited the back room, Mays allegedly pointed a gun at his head and told the employee “make it easy on me.” The employee, believing Mays was going to shoot him, pulled his own gun from his waistband and fired three shots, hitting Mays twice. The other man fled the store. 

The shot that didn’t hit Mays went through a wall into a neighboring business and grazed a person inside, who was not seriously injured. The store employee cooperated with police and has not been charged with any crimes.

Police are still looking for the second suspect from the August robbery. He is described as a black man approximately 20 to 30 years old, who wore dark pants, a dark green jacket, a baseball hat and black Nike shoes with a white swoosh. 

Anyone with information about the second suspect is asked to contact Inver Grove Heights police at 651-450-2525. 


—Hannah Burlingame

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