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Charges: Teen shot, killed man in alleged drug deal

A 17-year-old was arrested and accused of second-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Derrell Deshawn Freeman on May 8.
Credit: KARE 11

MINNEAPOLIS — Charges filed in juvenile district court Wednesday allege a 17-year-old is responsible for the shooting death of a Minneapolis man during an attempted drug deal earlier this month.

According to the charges, the 17-year-old was arrested and accused of second-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old Derrell Deshawn Freeman on May 8.

KARE 11 does not typically name minors charged with crimes.

Prosecutors say the shooting happened just after 5 p.m. at the intersection of Hillside and Illion Avenues North on the northside of Minneapolis. After officers arrived at the scene, they located a vehicle that "had obvious signs" of damage, which they suspected to have been caused by gunfire. It was then that they noticed a woman covered in blood standing outside near the rear of the vehicle, and a man, now identified as Freeman, in the backseat. The officers observed Freeman was nonresponsive and also covered in blood.

Investigators learned the woman was Freeman's sister, and that the siblings were in the area to "sell some weed" to two buyers near that intersection. The woman went on to tell officers that when they arrived to make the deal, two males — one of them the 17-year-old suspect — climbed into the backseat. The complaint says that Freeman offered them a joint to smoke from before his sister handed them a small bag of marijuana.

The woman said the buyers asked "where the rest of the marijuana was," before she started "feeling uneasy" and exited the car. A short while later, she said she saw her brother, who was sitting in the passenger seat, reach into his waistband for a gun. 

The complaint says one of the males then reached for his gun, firing off a shot and causing Freeman to dive into the backseat to fight with the suspects. The complaint says Freeman continued to struggle with them as shots rang out inside the vehicle.

According to court documents, one of the suspects tussled with the woman outside the car before fleeing, all while firing his gun in the direction of the car. 

The complaint says the teen suspect also ran from the car in the same direction as the first suspect who had already fled.

Later when police arrived, Freeman's sister told police she believed both suspects were carrying Glock pistols.

During their search of the area, authorities found several spent shell casings and a "distinct-looking" shoe in the intersection. Video surveillance footage, subsequent forensic testing and an interview with the teen later determined the lost shoe belonged to him. 

Surveillance footage also revealed the shooting took place about one block from one of the suspect's homes.

Court documents say that while being interviewed, the teen admitted that he and the other male were talking with Freeman in the car when he turned around and shot at them. The suspect, whose hospital records confirmed he'd suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg in the altercation, told police he was "scared and ran," also claiming not to have been carrying a gun. 

A closer inspection of the suspect's past court records show he has been charged on at least two other occasions for allegedly possessing various firearms underage.

Prosecutors have filed a petition to move the teen's case into district court.

KARE 11 has reached out to city and county officials about the status of the second person believed to have been involved in the shooting but has not yet received any additional information.


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