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Man charged with murder in connection with fatal shooting outside St. Paul liquor store

Trinis Edwards was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Kenneth Davis Jr. outside Big Discount Liquor.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A 49-year-old St. Paul man is charged with murder for the Dec. 27 shooting death of a man outside a liquor store.

Trinis Edwards was arrested Saturday and has since been charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Kenneth Davis Jr. 

According to charging documents, police responded to reports of a shooting just before 10 p.m. at Big Discount Liquor, which is located at 945 Rice St. in St. Paul. The complaint states that when officers arrived to the scene, they found Davis Jr. on the ground in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his chest. Police rendered aid until medics arrived and transported him to the hospital. According to the complaint, Davis Jr. was pronounced dead early the next morning at the hospital.

The complaint says that as officers began their investigation, they learned from a store employee that Davis Jr. was a regular customer and felt protective of the store. The employee then told investigators that Edwards had apparently taken liquor without paying, and Davis Jr. confronted him in an attempt to stop him from stealing.

Prosecutors say the two men began to fight inside the store before spilling out into the parking lot. The complaint states that during the altercation inside, Davis Jr. briefly flashed a gun and told Edwards he had a "license." Once outside, Davis Jr.'s gun fell to the ground after Edwards pushed him. According to court documents, that's when Edwards picked up the gun and shot Davis Jr. twice before fleeing on foot.

The complaint says security footage obtained from the liquor store shows the dispute and shooting. 

A woman who was with Edwards inside the store, but fled as the men began to argue, spoke to police in the days following the shooting. The complaint says she told investigators she met Edwards that day and rode the bus with him to the liquor store. When investigators showed the woman a still image from security footage, she confirmed that he was the man she was with. After further investigation, police said they were able to identify Edwards as the shooter.

The complaint says authorities then learned Edwards was staying with his girlfriend at a Motel 6 in St. Paul. The complaint says officers obtained a search warrant and executed it on the room. SWAT personnel removed Edwards' girlfriend, while Edwards allegedly barricaded himself in the bathroom. According to the complaint, officers forced the door open and used pepper balls on Edwards to take him into custody.

The complaint states police recovered the backpack Edwards was wearing on the night of the shooting and two empty bottles of vodka in his hotel room.

Further investigation revealed Edwards told his girlfriend the day after the shooting that he "did something bad" and that he shot someone in self defense, saying, "It was either him or me."

The complaint states Edwards and his girlfriend rented a room at the Motel 6 on Dec. 31, where he told her that he didn't want to go back to prison.

Edwards is currently being held in the Ramsey County Jail.

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