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24-year-old man charged in connection to pregnant woman's shooting death

Man charged in connection to pregnant woman’s shooting death
Man charged in connection to pregnant woman’s shooting death 00:34

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A 24-year-old man has been charged in connection to the shooting death of a pregnant woman in St. Paul earlier this week.

Paul Dwayne Harris is charged with one count each of second-degree murder, second-degree assault and illegal possession of a firearm.

Charges say on March 13, Gabriella Dehoyos, 21, was traveling in a car with her boyfriend, friend and three young children near the intersection of Marion Street and St. Anthony Avenue when a passing car shot into their vehicle, striking Dehoyos in the head.

Dehoyos' boyfriend brought her to Regions Hospital where she later died from her injuries. Doctors noted her condition at the time of death included an early gestational pregnancy.

In an interview with police, Dehoyos' boyfriend said he was waiting to make a left turn into Marion Street when a silver Ford sedan pulled up to the passenger side of his vehicle. He looked over at the car and saw the driver pointing a handgun in his direction. He recognized the man as Harris.

He said when he saw the gun, he ducked down and "yanked the wheel" to the left, turning south onto Marion Street. He then heard the back passenger window shatter and told police that's how he knew Harris had fired his gun.

Officers found a spent shell casing in the area of the shooting. Video footage also allegedly confirms Dehoysos' boyfriend's description of events.

Police say a preliminary review of records revealed a phone connected to Harris traveling in the area of the shooting at the time it occurred.

Authorities arrested Harris and interviewed his girlfriend as the two were heading to visit a friend in North or South Dakota.

His girlfriend told investigators she had been working until 5 p.m. on the day of the shooting and drove her car to work. When investigators asked if employer records would confirm that, she told them she actually was home by 3 p.m. when she then took a nap.

She says when she woke up, Harris was just coming home. She figured he had probably driven her car, as he does not have his own.

Harris denied knowing anything about the shooting and said he was at work for most of the morning but did not remember after that.

Harris confirmed to investigators several Facebook photos were his, including a recent one showing a handgun similar to the one described by Dehoyos' boyfriend to police on the day of the shooting.

According to court records, Harris has a juvenile court adjudication from 2018 for burglary in the first degree, making him ineligible to own a firearm.

Harris has been convicted twice of illegally possessing a firearm and is currently on supervised release from his 60-month prison sentence related to those charges.

Harris is expected to appear in court on Monday and could face up to 40 years in prison if found guilty of murder.

This is the city's seventh reported homicide in 2023.

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