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Murder charges filed in death of St. Paul teen, city's first homicide of 2016

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A 20-year-old is accused of fatally shooting a teenager during an exchange of gunfire in St. Paul Saturday night.

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Rayshon Brooks is charged with one count of intentional second-degree murder, one count of unintentional second-degree murder, and two counts of committing a crime for the benefit of a gang in connection with the death of 17-year-old John Marshall Broyles.

The killing of Broyles, a senior at Como Park Senior High School, marks St. Paul's first homicide of 2016, according to the Pioneer Press.

The teenager was found dead in a pool of blood along the 1900 block of University Avenue with a handgun underneath his body, after encountering Brooks about a half block away outside a hotel, the criminal complaint says.

The medical examiner found Broyles died of a gunshot wound, and ruled it a homicide.

A fund has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses.

If convicted, Brooks faces up to 40 years in prison for each of the second-degree murder charges, as well as up to 50 years in prison for each of the other two counts.

Details from the criminal complaint

According to the charges:

Broyles and his 17-year-old cousin – who said he is affiliated with the Gutter Block gang – walked past a vehicle that Brooks was in near the Days Inn around 11 p.m. that night. The cousin told investigators he identified Brooks as being in the rival HAM Crazy gang and told Broyles the two groups were beefing.

He and Broyles ran, as Brooks jumped out of the vehicle he was in and chased them across a nearby parking lot. Brooks and his cousin gave different accounts to the police about who may have flashed a gun prior to the chase.

Surveillance video shows the cousin sprinting through the lot, with Broyles trailing behind him. At one point, Broyles appears to fire at Brooks as Brooks rounds a corner.

At least two witnesses told investigators one man appeared to turn and fire while running, before the follower returned fire.

The cousin was on the phone with dispatch and flagged down police when officers arrived on the scene. He said he lost track of Broyles; the teenager was found not breathing and without a pulse by a Metro Transit police officer.

Investigators interviewed a woman in the car with Brooks at the time – she said after he returned, he said there was some "Facebook gang-related stuff" between he and one of the teens.

Police arrested Brooks Wednesday, and in an interview, he said the woman in the car at the time notified him the two teens were outside with a gun – fearing for his and the woman's safety, Brooks said he got out and chased the two teenagers to ensure they left.

When Brooks turned a corner he told police he got shot at, tensed up, and returned fire as a "scare tactic." He said ditched the gun in an alley afterwards (which he later directed police to), and didn't realize he'd hurt anybody until later.

Brooks, when asked by police, acknowledged he had other options but was scared at the time, and also said he knew he "f***ed up."

Officers found .45 caliber casings, as well as 9 mm casings, and bullet damage to nearby property.

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