Suspect Involved in St. Paul Chase Charged with Fleeing an Officer, 2nd Degree Murder

Updated: 12/03/2013 3:43 PM By: Leslie Dyste

A 19-year-old man has been charged with second-degree assault and fleeing an officer after allegedly leading police on a chase last Friday. He was also charged with two counts of second degree murder.

The incident began Tuesday when police responded to a call in the area of 855 E. 4th Street in St. Paul concerning a man who was down and apparently dead. When officers arrived at the scene they found a 28-year-old man with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the criminal complaint.

Witnesses said the man who died had a party. They said Brandon Christopher of Maplewood was at the party and had a silver handgun.

Witnesses said Christopher told them "I just smoked that guy," and told a driver to "get going," according to the complaint. Witnesses gave officers a description of the vehicle Christopher was in as a Chrysler 300 with a donut spare tire on it and a broken rear passenger window.

On Sunday just after 5 p.m. a St. Paul police officer attempted to stop a vehicle that matched the description. The driver of the vehicle led police on a chase and eventually hit a parked vehicle and stopped.

The driver, later identified as Christopher, got out of the vehicle and pointed a handgun at officers, according to the complaint. Officers fired and wounded Christopher.

Christopher suffered non-life threatening injuries, and a passenger in the vehicle was questioned by investigators.

The officers involved in the incident have been identified as 6-year-veteran Darin McDonald and 4-year veteran Michael Tschida.

In an interview Christopher admitted to shooting the 28-year-old with a handgun that was found in the Chrysler he was driving. He said the man startled him when he entered the home, so he turned and shot him.

Witnesses said the man who died had been bragging about having approximately $8,000 in cash. Police did not find the cash in their investigation.