Skip to main content

Police in St. Paul said they have arrested a suspect as part of an investigation into a shootout that left a man dead near a Rice Street bar.

Demetrius Lott, 26, was arrested around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday during a raid at the Motel 6 on Old Hudson Road. Lott faces a dangerous weapons charge relating to the shootout on Aug. 31.

Killed in the shootout was 39-year-old, Kenneth Wells, of White Bear Township. Lott isn't suspected of being the person who fired the fatal shots.

Another man, 36-year-old Jeff Tyus Jr., from Minneapolis, has been charged with two counts of illegally possessing a firearm and a dangerous weapons charge in the same incident. He, again, isn't suspected of killing Wells.

A "ghost" gun — a firearm that exists without a serial number by which it can be identified — was also recovered during Lott's arrest.

According to the complaint:

Just before 10 p.m. on Aug. 31, police went to an area where a shooting was reported across from Born's Bar at 899 Rice St. A man was reported to be on the ground, with multiple 911 callers saying they heard "40-50" gunshots and one noted that it sounded like automatic gunfire.

Officers found Wells with a large pool of blood coming from his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tyus, Wells, and several other people were seen standing outside of Tyus' Jaguar SUV prior to the shooting. According to the complaint, Tyus is seen with a gun in his hands, and an extended magazine attached to it.

Shortly thereafter, gunshots were fired from another vehicle at Tyus, Wells and the Jaguar SUV around 9:55 p.m.,  Police believe this volley of gunfire killed Wells.

When the initial gunfire stopped, a man identified as Lott got out of the passenger side of the SUV and pulled a gun from his waistband. According to the complaint, he then fired a handgun towards the area where the gunshots came from.

Investigators said the speed of the muzzle flashes seen on video indicate that around 20-30 bullets were fired from an automatic handgun.

Tyus and Lott then got back into the SUV and sped off.

Officers collected 29 spent shell casings near the area where Lott fired his weapon. Another group of shell casings was found nearby where  Wells was killed. 

On Sept. 1, Tyus called an investigator and set up an interview with police. He denied touching a firearm even when he was shown photographs of him with it in his hand and wrapping the gun in a jersey. He also denied that Lott fired a gun.

Both Tyus and Lott have extensive criminal histories. Tyus has prior felony convictions relating to theft, aggravated use of a firearm and possession of cocaine. Both the drugs and firearms charges make Tyus ineligible to possess a firearm or ammunition. 

Tyus is currently in custody on $250,000 bail set. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9.

Lott was awaiting sentencing in another case where he was convicted of recklessly firing a handgun in a shooting that happened in July 2021, and he is due to be sentenced on Sept. 23 in that case.

Police say the investigation into the victim's shooting death is ongoing. Three more people have been arrested for probable cause charges, but no official charges have been filed yet.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.


Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man charged in 'accidental' shooting that left woman dead

The 24-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter.


Man with gunshot wound dies at hospital in St. Paul's 15th homicide this year

The man, noted to be in his 20s, was found inside a home in the Frogtown neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

Louis Rogers

Charges: Man raped woman he met near St. Paul light rail station

Charges state Louis Rogers threatened the woman if she didn't comply with his demands.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

Antonio Richardson

Charges: Man shot dead in his St. Paul home was not the target

A 30-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Screen Shot 2022-10-17 at 10.45.49 AM

In speech, man awarded by St. Paul PD for saving life turns criticism on police

The man was given the St. Paul Police chief's award for valor.

Zachary Robinson

Man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend charged with riot over gang shootout

Another man has also been charged with riot over the incident in which around 100 bullets were fired.