St. Paul man pleads guilty to straw purchase of gun used in Seventh Street Truck Park mass shooting

Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press/TNS
·2 min read

A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty in federal court for his role as a middleman in a straw-purchase scheme to buy a gun that was ultimately used in the deadly shooting at the Seventh Street Truck Park last October.

Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to make false a statement in the purchase of a firearm. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

According to a January indictment, Young-Duncan conspired with 25-year-old Jerome Fletcher Horton Jr. of Minneapolis to purchase at least 25 firearms from Twin Cities gun dealers, which Young-Duncan planned to sell to third parties who could not legally buy a gun.

Each time, Horton submitted a form to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicating “he was the actual buyer of the firearm,” according to court documents. A federally licensed firearm dealer will not sell a gun to someone with a prior felony conviction, “so the actual buyer of the firearm is a fact upon which the sale will depend,” the documents said.

Horton, who was arrested shortly after the Oct. 10 shootout at the St. Paul food hall and bar that killed a bystander and injured 15 people, was charged in the scheme on Oct. 20 and pleaded guilty March 3. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

ATF investigators traced a semiautomatic 9mm handgun found at the scene back to the Blaine Fleet Farm where it was purchased in July by Horton, according to an earlier indictment against him.

The gun was then passed to Young-Duncan, who sold it to a third party, the indictment said.

Authorities investigating the Seventh Street Truck Park shooting said the handgun was in the possession of Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, one of two men charged with the murder of Marquisha Wiley, 27, of South St. Paul, and multiple counts of attempted murder.

Terry Lorenzo Brown Jr., 33, is also charged in Ramsey County District Court.

Neither Brown nor Phillips was allowed to possess guns due to past convictions.

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