Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that five individuals have been charged* in connection with a drive-by shooting in South St. Paul on the evening on August 28, 2017. All five have been charged with one count each of Drive-by Shooting (Toward Person or Occupied Motor Vehicle or Building) and Assault in the 2nd Degree (Dangerous Weapon). The Defendants are:
Tyrone Lamar Farrow, age 37 of Big Lake, MN;
Erik Dontez Poe, age 18 of Burnsville;
Cheridan Bree Redmond, age 19 of Inver Grove Heights;
Juan Carlos Rojas, age 19 of Inver Grove Heights; and
Sopearvy Ogbondah Michelle Sam-Farrow, age 18 of West St. Paul.
A summary of the allegations in the complaints include:
On August 28, 2017, around 10:00 p.m., a South St. Paul police officer responded to a report of a woman receiving threatening text messages and a gun was mentioned. Earlier that evening an officer spoke with her about an ongoing argument she had with some of her former friends. As the officer was approaching the residence in his squad car, he noticed a dark colored SUV slowly rolling past the residence. As the SUV came closer, the officer immediately heard gunshots in rapid succession and saw several flashes of light coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. The SUV made several turns and ended up in a cul-de-sac. The vehicle came to a stop and two males fled from the front seat and one male, later identified as Tyrone Lamar Farrow, stayed in the backseat.
Police located the two males who had fled the vehicle and they were later identified as Juan Carlos Rojas and Erik Dontez Poe. Police also found a 9 MM handgun and shotgun, both containing live rounds, in the vehicle along with multiple 9MM shell casings. Two victims suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds as a result of this shooting.
Defendant Sam-Farrow told police she and Redmond had previously gone to the residence where this shooting occurred on August 26, 2017, to purchase marijuana. While there, an argument arose and she said that Redmond was punched in the face. Sam-Farrow and Redmond then left the residence. On August 28, 2017, Sam-Farrow and Redmond returned to the residence and a fight ensued. Sam-Farrow said she was punched in the face through an open car window. After leaving the residence, Sam-Farrow said she called her boyfriend and father and told them what happened. Rojas was also informed of this incident. All these individuals met at Sam-Farrow’s residence prior to the shooting incident later that evening. Farrow, Rojas and Poe got into Farrow’s SUV and left the residence.
One of the victims who was shot told police that immediately prior to the shooting she saw a silver vehicle belonging to Sam-Farrow driving past the residence with its lights off. Once in front of the residence, this vehicle flashed its lights and the female stuck her arm out of the car window and pointed at the house. At that point, the victim saw the dark SUV following the silver car. The SUV drove past the residence, turned around and drove towards the house again. Once in front of the house, the SUV slammed on its brakes and shots were fired out of the vehicle. Sam-Furrow and Redmond initially denied returning to the residence where the shooting took place with the SUV, but later Sam-Farrow admitted to doing so.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaints which are available online at: Criminal Complaint Search. If in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: "This was a violent crime which easily could have taken a life. We are thankful that no deaths occurred and that no other individuals were injured in this incident."
South St. Paul Police Chief William Messerich commented: "I would like to thank all the agencies who assisted us in the apprehension of the suspects involved in this incident and for assistance we received from the residents affected by this event."
Backstrom thanked the South St. Paul Police Department for their investigation of this case. Backstrom also thanked the West St. Paul Police Department, Inver Grove Heights Police Department, Mendota Heights Police Department, Eagan Police Department, St. Paul Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this case.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.