Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena announced that Steven Daniel Buford, age 22 of West St. Paul, was sentenced today by Judge Michael Mayer to 380 months in prison in connection with a shooting incident that occurred on 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. Buford pled guilty November 9, 2021, to one count each of Murder in the Second Degree (With Intent) and Attempted Aggravated Robbery in the First Degree. Buford will also serve 54 months concurrently for the Robbery.
Around 9:30 p.m. on September 4, 2020, West St. Paul police officers were dispatched to an apartment building 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, 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 a man later identified as Buford running through the parking lot.
Moments later, officers heard a woman screaming. They responded and saw a woman (identified as Victim 2 in the criminal complaint) standing outside of her car holding an infant. Buford was in the backseat of the car. Victim 2's 7-yearold 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.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. A previous news release can be viewed at County Attorney News Releases. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Keena commented: “I am pleased that Mr. Buford has entered pleas of guilty for the commission of these violent crimes thereby sparing those victimized by his actions from having to endure the stressors of a trial. My deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Ms. Koffi-n'guessan."
Keena thanked Criminal Division Head Cheri Townsend and Assistant County Attorney Caitlyn Prokopowicz for their efforts in prosecuting the case.
Keena praised the West St. Paul Police Department for their investigation into this tragic death, as well as the Inver Grove Heights Police Department, Mendota Heights Police Department, the South St. Paul Police Department, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension who assisted in this case. If you have questions, contact Kathy Keena at 651-438-4440.