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A St. Paul man has been charged with murder for the killing of a man he says was the unintended target. 

Court documents say Payton Lee Wood, 22, faces second-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of 59-year-old Jeffrey Foss on July 1 in the Frogtown neighborhood.

A criminal complaint states that Foss was found with a gunshot wound to his head around 3 a.m. on the sidewalk of the 600 block of Dale Street North. Officers found a single 9mm casing in an alley entrance near Dale Street.

While no witnesses initially came forward, surveillance footage showed a man – later identified as Wood – get into an altercation with another man, who ran away from the scene holding a knife.

The complaint says the video captured Wood go around corner of a building and fire a single shot towards where the man with the knife was running. However, the bullet hit Foss, who collapsed on the sidewalk.

Police also saw a Chevrolet truck leave the scene shortly after, with investigators learning that Wood owning a similar truck.

On July 6, Wood met with investigators with an attorney at his side. He claimed that Foss and the man with the knife were caught "going through liquor bottles and cigarettes" when Wood and another man returned from getting food.

Wood claims that one of the men used a racial slur towards them. According to the complaint, he also claimed the man with the knife "swung it" at him, saying he thought he was going to be stabbed, so he fired a gun at him.

Wood claimed that Foss was only five feet away from him when he fired the weapon, but investigators stated that Foss was "much farther away than five feet."

An autopsy report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner showed that Foss had a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

Wood told investigators that he had the gun because of problems in the area. He said he threw the weapon into the Mississippi River and someone got rid of the clothes he was wearing that day.

Wood does not have a legal permit to own a firearm, the complaint states.

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