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Kareem Mitchell charged in St. Paul Saloon homicide
Police say he has fled Minnesota
A man has been charged in connection with a homicide that took place Sunday night, Jan. 29, in Dayton’s Bluff in front of the St. Paul Saloon, 1045 Hudson Road.
Kareem Karel Mitchell, 34, who lived on the East Side, has been charged with one count of murder in the second degree, which if convicted carries a maximum sentence of 40 years and one count of second-degree assault, which comes with a maximum sentence of 10 years.
On Feb. 2, Mitchell was still at large, and authorities believed he had fled the state. Mitchell has eight prior felony convictions -- three felony DWIs and five drug-related felonies.
St. Paul police were called to the scene of the shooting at about 11:30 p.m. on a report of shots fired.
When officers arrived, they found two adult males outside with apparent gunshot wounds. St. Paul Fire Department medics transported the victims to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. One of the men, who was shot seven times, did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Because police are in the process of notifying relatives, they have not yet released his identity.
This was St. Paul's second homicide in 2017.
Detectives have interviewed the second shooting victim, who was treated for a shattered femur.
The two victims were patrons at St. Paul Saloon that night, and the bartender told police that customers heard gunshots as soon as the victims left the bar.
In surveillance video from the bar, the two victims are reportedly seen “drunkenly grabbing” onto one another. A man wearing a gray hooded sweat suit approached the two victims and took a handgun out of his pants pocket. Another man stood nearby.
The criminal complaint indicated the video shows the man with the gun interacting with the two victims. At one point the victim who was killed moves toward the man with the gun, but the other victim pulls him back. A few seconds later, the man in the gray sweat suit fires at the men and they both fall to the ground.
The video reportedly shows the man in the sweat suit walking backwards as he continues to fire at the victim, who later dies. The victim who survived said he saw one man leave in a Dodge Charger and another man left in a Chevrolet Tahoe.
One witness at the bar told investigators that he saw the victim arguing with someone at the pool table in the bar. He then saw the alleged shooter and a woman leave the bar. The two victims left the bar soon after that and the witness said he heard the victim who would later be killed say “he was going to take care of it right now.”
The police report said a woman who went to the bar with Mitchell and his uncle identified Mitchell on the surveillance video. Mitchell’s uncle reportedly said Mitchell knew some people at the bar and was having a discussion with them near the pool table.
He did not recall any kind of altercation. When Mitchell’s uncle was shown photos of the victim, he identified the victim as having bought drinks for them at the bar and thought he had bought a drink for Mitchell as well.
In an interview after the shooting, St. Paul Saloon owner Alex Rivero said this was "definitely an isolated situation." The bar, which re-opened under Rivero's ownership about six months ago, has not had police called to it since it re-opened.
"We want to make sure [the bar] is a safe environment," Rivero said. "If it takes me having to close my bar at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, then I'll do that. A person shouldn't have to lose their life."