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Thursday, March 23, 2023

St. Paul Man Arrested and Charged Over Friday’s Fatal Shooting at Light-Rail Platform

Early Friday, a 33-year-old St. Paul man was arrested and accused with fatally shooting a man on a downtown light-rail station.

Shawn M. Tillman, 37, of St. Paul, was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder with intent-to-kill.

According to the criminal complaint against Tillman, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office discovered that Ellis-Strong had six bullet wounds.

Tillman was arrested with the help of St. Paul police after being observed by Metro Transit police in St. Paul at 7 p.m. Saturday. He is due in court for the first time on the charge on Tuesday morning.

This was the third deadly shooting in St. Paul in a six-hour period on Thursday night and Friday early. The two other homicides are still being investigated by police.

Officers were dispatched to the Green Line Central Station in response to a shooting at 4:15 a.m. Friday and discovered Ellis-Strong laying on the light-rail platform with gunshot wounds to his head and torso. He was declared dead around 10 minutes later.

Two gunshots were heard, followed by two more, according to a witness. When he looked outside, he noticed a man with a revolver standing over another man, and the gunman shot three times before escaping on foot, according to the witness.

Officers tracked down a man who was with the shooter before to the attack. He told police he didn’t know the gunman’s identity, just that he recognized him from the neighborhood, and that the shooter and the victim “had a dispute,” according to the criminal complaint.

The incident was recorded on surveillance footage, which shows Tillman approaching Ellis-Strong and pulling out a pistol, according to the complaint. Tillman lifted the rifle and shot it as Ellis-Strong took a few steps backward, throwing him into a sign and then to the ground.

According to the lawsuit, Tillman then stepped closer and shot twice more. Tillman shot at Ellis-head Strong’s as he defended himself with an arm.

According to the complaint, investigators discovered a face covering that had fallen from Tillman’s pocket as he departed the scene.

The shooter was probably Tillman, according to an officer who examined the security tape. Tillman was a suspect in two indecent exposure cases and a criminal sexual conduct case that the officer was investigating. According to the allegations, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension inspected the facial covering and found that the DNA profile matched Tillman’s convicted offender sample.

Tillman has three past felony convictions: indecent exposure in the presence of a juvenile, fourth-degree assault, and illegally possessing a handgun.

Tillman refused to give detectives a statement after his detention on Saturday.

Metro Transit said in a statement on Monday that the incident occurred just before Green Line service was set to begin for the day.

“We applaud the police, personnel, and law enforcement partners who reacted to this event, and we are happy that a suspect was immediately identified and detained,” said Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra in a statement.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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