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Crews respond to fire at St. Paul homicide scene, 2 arrested

St. Paul PD says officers and firefighters were called back to a home on the 800 block of Lawson Ave. East at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Credit: KARE

ST PAUL, Minn. — Just over one hour after investigators finished processing a murder scene in the city's Payne-Phalen neighborhood Sunday morning, St. Paul Police and firefighters were called back to the same address after witnesses reported a fire. 

Police first responded to reports of shots fired around 4 p.m. Saturday near the 800 block of Lawson Avenue East, where they found an adult male, later identified as 31-year-old Ervin L. Dukes III of Hastings inside a home. Dukes had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene. It is the city's 24th homicide of the year. 

A 43-year-old man from Red Wing was arrested Sunday afternoon in connection with the homicide and booked into the Ramsey County Jail. 

A 35-year-old woman was also arrested is suspicion of aiding the offender, police said.

In a tweet put out by the department Saturday evening, St. Paul Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said there have been roughly 170 police calls to the residence since the start of the year.  

While the crime scene was being processed Ernster says the owner of the home, a 37-year-old man, refused officer's orders to stay behind the crime tape, walked into the scene, sat down in the driveway and refused to move. That man was arrested for obstructing the legal process and booked into the Ramsey County Jail.

Police say processing of the scene wrapped up around 9:30 a.m., police tape was taken down and officers left the neighborhood. Around 11 a.m. police and fire crews were dispatched to the same address after witnesses reported seeing smoke and flames coming from the home. 

Ernster says at this point the cause of the fire is still under investigation 

 Anyone with information on the crime or a suspect is asked to call 651-266-5650.


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