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2 killed overnight in separate St. Paul shootings

Police identified Dion Lamarr Ford, Jr. as one of the victims in two separate deadly shootings overnight in St. Paul.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Police say two people are dead following separate shootings in St. Paul overnight, one outside a north end convenience store and another at a home in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood.

Officers were first dispatched to the 400 block of Maryland Avenue West around 9:15 p.m. Thursday after multiple people called 911 reporting gunshots in the area. 

When squads reached the scene they found two men believed to be in their early 20s with gunshot wounds. Police say one man was lying in the street, and another was in a vehicle a short distance away. 

Officers say they tried to help the men before medics arrived. When Saint Paul Fire and ambulance arrived, the man in the street, now identified as 21-year-old Dion Lamarr Ford, Jr., was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Benilde-St. Margaret High School basketball coach Damian Johnson was among those paying tribute to Ford, who starred at St. Paul Central High School before graduating in 2019 and going on to play junior college hoops. "Man I just heard the news…This is beyond crazy…This kid had so much potential…RIP Dion Ford," 

"This one hurts a lot. You were undoubtedly the most naturally talented young man I’ve ever come across. Our countless hours together will never be forgotten," added Minnesota Heat AAA coach and skills trainer Wibi McDonald. 

The man police found in the vehicle was rushed to Regions Hospital and taken straight into surgery. 

Police said his condition is unknown as of Friday morning. 

Squads responded to a second fatal shooting around 1:40 a.m. Police say dispatchers received a 911 call that a man had been shot while trying to break into a home on the 1200 block of Hewitt Ave.  

The homeowner, a 56-year-old man, waiting for them down the street from where the shooting had happened. Police say the homeowner told them the man who he shot was in a relationship with his daughter, had kicked in the front door and was threatening her. 

Police spokesman Steve Linders told KARE 11 that officers had been at the home earlier in the day on a domestic incident involving the man who was shot and the homeowner's daughter. 

Responding officers entered the home and found a male in his 30s who had been shot multiple times. First responders pronounced him dead on the scene. 

Police say the homeowner was taken to department headquarters, questioned about the shooting and released. 

Homicide detectives are working the case, and once completed their findings will be forwarded to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for consideration of criminal charges. 

Anyone with information on either shooting is asked to call police at 651-266-5650. 

The fatal shootings mark the 12th and 13th homicides of 2022 in St. Paul. 

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