A 17-year-old boy is accused of fatally shooting a 22-year-old in the head following a fight in Duluth on Saturday.
Patrick Wilson Battees Jr., of Proctor, is charged via juvenile delinquency petition with second-degree murder in what marked the first homicide and 14th "shooting event" in Duluth in 2021, police said.
Duluth police have not identified the victim, but the Duluth News Tribune, citing court documents, says Juamada Keller Anderson Jr. was killed in the shooting.
“Any loss of life is significant,” Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said in a statement Monday. “The victim was someone’s son. He was someone’s friend. This is a tragedy for his family, and for those who knew him. This act also impacts the sense of safety in our community.”
“This is an example of guns being in the hands of people who are using guns to solve conflict instead of alternative non-violent methods,” he added.
According to the juvenile delinquency petition, Duluth police responded to the 100 block of E 3rd Street at 7:03 p.m. on May 22 on a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found the victim with a single gunshot wound to the head.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The incident was captured on surveillance video, with the charges noting there was a fight prior to the shooting. In the video, Battees can be seen raising a gun from his waistband and shooting into a crowd of people, the petition says. The victim appeared to be in Battees' sightline and after he fired, the victim fell to the ground.
Battees could be seen on the video firing another shot before running from the area, the petition states.
A witness told police he heard the gunshots and saw people running, and then saw someone - later identified as Battees - crouch behind a van and tuck what looked like a gun into his waistband before leaving.
Police located Battees in an alley and found a .45 caliber pistol in another alley that was on his route to the alley where he was found, charges say. Police found a .45 shell casing at the scene of the shooting.
He was arrested and did not provide a statement to police, charges add.
Battees, who has several prior charges against him, appeared in juvenile court on Monday and is being held at Arrowhead Juvenile Center, Duluth News Tribune says. He's scheduled to be arraigned on June 3.
Prosecutors have filed a motion to have Battees tried as an adult, the paper notes.
Under state law, it's presumed a juvenile will be certified as an adult if they're 16 or 17 when they allegedly committed the offense, and if the offense would result in a prison sentence. That being said, the child can rebut the presumption so long as they offer convincing evidence that it services public safety to keep the case in juvenile court.
Bring Me The News does not typically identify a suspect who is younger than 18, except in instances such as this one: Where court records are public because he's older than 16 and facing a felony-level charge, as well as because prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult.
The Duluth PD has increased its presence in the downtown area in response to the shooting, police said.