Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Steven David Buford, age 21 of West St. Paul, has been charged* with one count each of Second Degree Murder (With Intent), Attempted Aggravated Robbery in the First Degree, and Possession of a Firearm by Ineligible Person in connection with a shooting incident that occurred late September 4, 2020, in West St. Paul. This incident resulted in the death of Lauren Summer Koffi-n'guessan, age 22 of West St. Paul.
The following is a summary of the facts contained in the criminal complaint filed today in this case:
Around 9:30 p.m. on September 4, 2020, West St. Paul police officers were dispatched to an apartment building in the City on the report of a disturbance. A witness at the scene told officers that a man was acting erratically and had jumped from a second story balcony of the apartment building. He was seen arguing with a woman (Victim 1), later identified as Lauren Summer Koffi-n'guessan, and they were unsure of where the two had gone. Officers began checking around the exterior of the building when they heard a gunshot, and saw Ms. Koffi-n'guessan lying on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. They saw Buford running through the parking lot.
Moments later, officers heard a woman screaming. They responded and saw a woman (identified as Victim 2) standing outside of her car holding an infant. Buford was in the backseat of the car. Victim 2's 7-year-old son was standing next to her and her 12-year-old son was in the car. Officers were able to place Buford under arrest without incident. Following his arrest, officers asked Buford where the gun was located and he told them it was in Victim 2's car. Officers located a snub nose revolver in the car.
Attempts to revive Ms. Koffi-n'guessan were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head.
In a statement, Victim 2 said she had just parked her car in the parking lot, when she observed Victim 1 and Buford arguing. Her two sons were in the car with her. Victim 2 heard a loud bang after which Buford ran to her car. Buford threw an infant at her. The infant was subsequently identified as Ms. Koffi-n'guessan's 15-month-old son. Buford jumped into Victim 2's car and landed on her 7-year-old son in the back seat. Buford yelled “Come on guys, let's go!" and was waving a gun. Victim 2 instructed her children to get out of the car. Victim 2's children witnessed Buford pull out his gun and shoot Victim 1.
Buford is not allowed to possess a firearm as a result of his criminal history.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: This appears to be another tragic act of gun violence that has claimed a life." Backstrom expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Lauren Summer Koffi-n'guessan.
Backstrom praised the West St. Paul Police Department, and all of the other law enforcement agencies which assisted in this investigation, for their work which led to the quick apprehension of the suspect.
Steven Buford made his first court appearance on these charges today. Bail in the amount of $2,000,000 with conditions, was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Leslie Metzen. His next court appearance is scheduled for September 22, 2020 at 9:40 a.m. in Hastings.
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.