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Brandis Wells Charged For Fatal Shooting In Frogtown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A 34-year-old St. Paul man faces charges for allegedly shooting and killing a man in the city's Frogtown neighborhood last week.

Brandis Junton Wells was charged with the second-degree murder in Ramsey County on Tuesday.

Officers arrived at the scene on the 500 block of Blair Avenue around 10:15 p.m. on Dec. 28, the criminal complaint says. They found a 31-year-old man, identified as Jarrell Kirk, lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his arm and chest. Kirk was taken to Regions Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

Kirk's father waved at officers and told them that the "shooter" was in the lower unit of the duplex. The father said that he lived with Kirk in the upper unit, and that Kirk had been in a feud with Wells, who lived below, because Kirk's ex-girlfriend had left him for Wells.

Brandis Wells
Credit: Ramsey County

The complaint goes on to say that the father told police that Kirk and his ex-girlfriend had gotten into a shouting match, and the people in the lower unit cut the power to the upstairs unit. Kirk went downstairs with a gun - which he had a permit to carry - and the father said he heard multiple shots.

When he came outside, he said he saw Wells shoot Kirk in the chest, court documents say. The father said the girlfriend and Wells retreated to the lower unit when the police arrived. One of the responding officers said he saw a man leave out of the back of the house before the rest of the police came to the scene.

Wells was on the run for five days, but turned himself in to St. Paul police headquarters on Monday.

In a post-Miranda interview, Wells admitted to turning the power off, and confirmed his tense relationship with Kirk. He said that he and his girlfriend decided to leave to avoid trouble, but Kirk came downstairs with a gun, threatening to kill them. Wells said he punched Kirk and fought him. When they got outside, he said Kirk was pointing his gun at him, and he intended to "beat him to the draw."

"I thought he was going to live," Wells said, and added he didn't mean to kill Kirk, the complaint says.

Kirk's death marked the 37th homicide for St. Paul, in what was a record-breaking year.

If convicted, the second-degree murder charge holds a maximum 40-year sentence.

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