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Duluth man charged with series of gun crimes

A Duluth man who served prison time for shooting a man during a robbery three years ago has been charged with a new series of gun-related incidents — including another shooting that injured a woman.

Metris Jovon Bell, 23, faces four felony charges stemming from the mid-November incidents.

Authorities said Bell was identified as the shooter in two gunfire reports late on Nov. 11, one resulting in a woman being shot in the shoulder. He was arrested three days later when he allegedly threatened additional people with a gun and was seen tossing the firearm from a car.

Bell served a 41-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to an aggravated robbery charge, admitting that he shot another man while trying to steal a bag from him in August 2014. He remains on supervised release for that offense.

Bell is now charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count each of reckless discharge of a firearm and second-degree assault. He is being held without bail due the alleged violation of his terms of release.

"(Bell) represents a significant risk to public safety as demonstrated by the fact that he was was involved in three separate incidents involving firearms in three days," St. Louis County prosecutor Chris Pinkert wrote to the court. "Clearly, defendant has little regard for the life of others."

According to the criminal complaints:

A female gunshot victim was brought to the Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center emergency room late on the night of Nov. 11. Within six minutes, 911 received a second report of gunfire at 112 W. Fourth St.

Through witness interviews, surveillance video and searches, police said they learned that Bell had been in possession of a .22 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber rifle with a scope at a residence on East Upham Road. He reportedly became upset about the woman drinking from a bottle of alcohol that belonged to him, shooting her in the shoulder with the rifle.

Police said Bell and several other people left, going to the Fourth Street address, where he apparently got into an argument with another man and fired several rounds into the air. Officers stopped a vehicle he was traveling in and recovered the handgun.

On Nov. 14, police responded to the Morgan Park area, where Bell was reported to have brandished the rifle during an argument involving several people.

An officer began following a car and reported seeing the back door quickly open and close along the 8600 block of Edward Street. Police said they recovered the rifle and scope from that scene. Bell, the only person in the back seat, was arrested.

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