Alleged shoplifter at St. Paul liquor store fatally shoots patron, charges say

·2 min read

A man was fatally shot with his own gun after confronting an alleged shoplifter at a St. Paul liquor store, according to authorities.

Trinis D. Edwards, 49, was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting of Kenneth L. Davis Jr., 44, on the night of Dec. 27 at Big Discount Liquor in the 900 block of Rice Street.

Authorities arrested Edwards on Saturday and remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail ahead of a court appearance Tuesday. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

According to the criminal complaint:

A store employee told police that Davis, a regular customer, confronted Edwards about concealing vodka without paying for it, then took the bottle from him.

Edwards said he had a gun and began digging into his backpack. Davis replied that he had a license and flashed his gun at Edwards.

Edwards took a swing at Davis, and the two tussled as they went out the door. Davis' gun fell to the ground after Edwards pushed him. Edwards picked up the gun, shot Davis twice and fled without the vodka.

Police tracked down Edwards at a Motel 6 in the 21700 block of Old Hudson Road. A woman with him left the room, but he refused to come out of the bathroom. Officers forced open the door and arrested him.

The woman told police that she had been engaged to Edwards at one point, the complaint read.

She said Edwards told her that he shot someone in self-defense. "It was him or me," the complaint quoted Edwards as telling her.

Court records in Minnesota show that Edwards has a long and often violent criminal history. He's been convicted five times for violating no-contact orders, four times for domestic assault, twice for a weapons offense, and once each for forgery, fleeing police, disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, assault and drunken driving.

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