Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that a 17-year-old male (address unknown)* and a 16-year-old male from St. Paul* have been charged** with Riot in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree in connection with the shooting incident in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Inver Grove Heights that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Billy Ray Robles of St. Paul and also resulted in a second individual being shot in the ankle. Motions have been filed to certify both of these individuals as adults for purposes of prosecution.
Below is a summary of the allegations set forth in the juvenile petitions:
On March 24, 2018, at approximately 1:30 a.m. Inver Grove Heights police were dispatched to the parking lot of the AMC Theatre on a report of a fight and shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male later identified as Billy Ray Robles who had sustained two gunshot wounds. He was immediately transported to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to his chest.
The investigation determined that numerous individuals spent the evening on a party bus that earlier had departed from the theatre parking lot. Some of these individuals were members of what was described as the "east side" and "west side" groups. The groups began arguing throughout the night while on the bus. When the bus returned to the theatre parking lot, the groups exited and witnesses said the west side group started chasing the east side group. One witness described two members of the east side group, turn and fire guns in the direction of the west side group. Another witness also said he saw one of the above members shoot toward the west side group. Through witness statements the two juveniles who fired the guns were identified (these are the individuals who have been charged in this case).
The second individual who was shot in the ankle fled the scene prior to police arriving but police were able to stop the vehicle on Highway 52 near Butler Avenue. He was then transported to Regions Hospital where he was treated and released.
Additional facts can be obtained from the redacted juvenile petitions filed in connection with this matter.
Backstrom stated that the investigation into this matter is continuing with the goal of identifying all individuals involved and who fired the fatal shot. Additional charges are possible.
Backstrom commented: "This is another example of the senseless and tragic loss of life from gun violence in our community. It is extremely disturbing to see juveniles possessing and using firearms in this manner." Backstrom expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Billy Ray Robles.
Backstrom thanked the Inver Grove Heights Police Department for their investigation into this matter, which was initially assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.