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A 21-year-old St. Paul man who is hospitalized with a gunshot wound has been charged for the murder of former St. Paul Central High School basketball standout Dion Ford

After multiple 911 callers reported hearing 20-40 gunshots around 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, Ford was found fatally shot outside the Maryland Supermarket at 444 Maryland Avenue West in St. Paul. 

Ford was found unconscious in the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Arundel Street, with police saying a handgun was partially in his hand. Ford was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Dion Ford

Dion Ford

Also found at the scene was Xavion Tyrece Bell, who was being carried to a vehicle by two men. Officers stopped one of the men from driving away from the scene, at which point medics treated Bell for a gunshot wound to his back and took him to Regions Hospital in critical condition. 

Bell, who was still hospitalized as of Friday night, has been charged with one count second-degree intentional murder and one count of second-degree intentional murder while committing a felony (aggravated robbery). 

According to charging documents, the shooting was captured by surveillance video from the Maryland Supermarket and a St. Paul police CCTV camera, which points at the supermarket and neighboring restaurant because "it is a problem property associated with loitering, drug dealing, assaults, shootings, and homicides." 

The criminal complaint says Ford was inside both the supermarket and restaurant, then seen leaving the restaurant with a white plastic bag filled with items. 

Bell followed Ford from the supermarket to the restaurant, and as Ford left the restaurant and walked toward a vehicle parked on Arundel Street he repeatedly looked over his shoulder. The criminal complaint describes what happened next. 

"Bell approached [Ford] and they interacted. Bell’s right hand is in his jacket pocket. [Ford] backed away towards the Cobalt’s trunk. Bell opened the driver’s door and leaned inside it. [Ford] dropped his bags, pulled out a firearm, and shot Bell. Bell fell to the ground and returned fire as [Ford] backed away from the Cobalt while firing. [Ford] fell to the ground. Bullets struck the ground near [Ford], and he fired to the west in the direction from where those gunshots came. Bell fired at [Ford] again and [Ford] slumped over never to move again. Muzzle flashes show that Bell fired an additional 13 times at [Ford's] lifeless body."

The criminal complaint notes that Ford had a permit to carry a firearm.

Bell, in 2018, was convicted of first-degree aggravated robbery. He's currently awaiting two separate trials, one for an armed robbery of a woman and the other for a string of carjackings, robberies and kidnappings that happened in 2020. 

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