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Stepdad Charged In Connection With Stepson's Shooting Death After Woodbury Grad Party

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A man is charged in connection with the fatal shooting of his teenage stepson after a graduation party in Woodbury over the weekend.

According to documents filed in Washington County, Keith Dawson, 35, is charged with drive-by shooting, illegal possession of a firearm and two counts of assault in connection to the shooting that killed 14-year-old Demaris Ekdahl. However, investigators say that he was not the person who shot the teenager; instead, he started the shooting.

Dawson Keith mugshot
(credit: Washington County)

According to Woodbury Public Safety, Dawson was the driver of a vehicle witnesses said started the shooting on Saturday night on the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue. He brought Ekdahl to Regions Hospital after the shooting, where the boy was pronounced dead.

In an interview with police, Dawson initially said he went to the party after hearing Ekdahl was shot.

Officers saw shell casings in his vehicle, and confronted him with that and other information gathered during the investigation. It was then, police said, that he admitted to his role in the shooting.

Dawson said he learned of an "altercation" between two groups of people, one of them including Ekdahl, though the teen was apparently not directly involved.

Dawson said he met up with Ekdahl and others, then drove back to Edgewood Avenue and shot at the other group's SUV to scare them, police said. That group returned fire, hitting Ekdahl, who was riding in a car behind Dawson's SUV.

Ekdahl was moved to Dawson's vehicle, and that's when they headed to the hospital. Dawson said he threw his handgun out of the SUV's window while driving, and it was later recovered, according to police.

Dawson appeared in court remotely on Tuesday where his bail was set with the option of paying $500,000 with no conditions or $175,000 with conditions.

Dawson is set to appear back in court on June 21.

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