ST. PAUL — A 26-year-old man has been charged in connection with the fatal shootings of a woman and her two children in St. Paul.
TeKeith Svyone Jones, who does not have a permanent address, was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Feb. 2, in Ramsey County District Court. D’Zondria D. Wallace, 30, and her daughter, La’Porsha Wallace, 14, were found fatally shot in a residence on the 700 block of Jessie Street on Saturday. Wallace’s son, Ja’Corbie Wallace, 11, also was shot and later died at the hospital.
According to the complaint, at about 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, officers were sent to the residence after receiving a 911 call. The first officer to arrive was only partly able to open the door as La’Porsha Wallace’s body lay in front of it. She was not conscious or breathing.
When the officer was able to enter, D’Zondria Wallace was found lying face down on the couch, also not conscious or breathing, the complaint said. Ja’Corbie Wallace was not conscious, but breathing and making a gurgling sound. The officer pulled up the 11-year-old’s shirt and saw two gunshot wounds to his back. Fourteen spent shell casings were recovered from the scene, the complaint said.
D’Zondria and La’Porsha Wallace were pronounced dead at the scene.
When first responders asked Ja’Corbie Wallace who had shot him, he replied, “Keith” and indicated that Keith was his mother’s boyfriend, the complaint said.
The boy was taken to the hospital where he had emergency surgery, and later died at 6:18 p.m. Autopsies revealed that D’Zondria Wallace was shot twice, La’Porsha Wallace was shot 10 times and Ja’Corbie Wallace was shot five times.
D’Zondria Wallace’s cousin told police that D’Zondria Wallace had been dating a short man named Keith who had tattoos on his upper body, the complaint said.
Surveillance footage from a neighbor’s home showed a man wearing dark clothing peeking outside of the residence on Jessie Street about 30 minutes before the bodies were found. The man went back inside before running from the house toward a silver Jeep Compass that had damage to its right bumper and headlight, the complaint said.
Later on Saturday, a state trooper encountered the Jeep and a man who said he was out of gas at U.S. Highway 61 and Burns Avenue. The trooper said he would return to help after he finished responding to a call, but found the man gone and the Jeep abandoned when he came back, the complaint said.
Surveillance footage from the 2100 block of Wilson Avenue showed the man who left the Jessie Street residence in the Jeep was met by a woman who let him into the apartment building at around 5:12 p.m. Saturday. Officers identified the man as Jones and identified the woman, according to the complaint.
Officers speak with nephew
Officers spoke to D’Zondria Wallace’s nephew who said Jones was his aunt’s ex-boyfriend and that Jones continually came to his aunt’s house after they ended the relationship, according to the complaint.
The nephew last saw Jones in December after Jones broke into the residence through a window and “swung” his aunt around and accused her of dating other men, according to the complaint. The nephew said Jones shot at his aunt with a pistol the next morning but missed, the complaint said. The nephew identified a photo of Jones from Facebook as his aunt’s boyfriend.
Officers obtained a search warrant for the Wilson Avenue apartment on Sunday, Jan. 31, and arrested Jones in the apartment.
They found a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine at the apartment, the complaint said. The handgun’s chamber was empty, but there were ammunition rounds in the magazine.
Jones speaks with police
Jones agreed to speak with police, and said he had been in Minnesota for about eight to 12 months and that his brother had been killed several months ago.
Jones said he was “going through a life experience that he didn’t understand” and that he was “going to save someone so they wouldn’t have to go through what he did,” the complaint said. Jones said he felt like he was being framed for his brother’s death.
Investigators showed Jones pictures of the three shooting victims, who Jones identified all by name. Jones at first claimed that he had not seen D’Zondria Wallace for several weeks. He later said that he had shot D’Zondria Wallace and her two children because he wanted to save the children because their mother was “playing mind games and corrupting the kids,” the complaint said. “I saved them — they can go up there and be holy,” Jones said to investigators, according to the complaint.
Jones said the handgun recovered from the Wilson apartment was the gun he used to kill them. He said he shot the mother first. Jones said “he’s not a monster and that he kissed them all,” the complaint said. Jones added that he was “trying to break the cycle and did not want them to feel the pain that he felt,” the complaint said.
Criminal history in Texas
A cousin told the Pioneer Press that D’Zondria Wallace informed her in November or December that she was pregnant. The county attorney’s office said Tuesday they received no information in law enforcement reports that indicated Wallace was pregnant at the time of her death and the investigation is ongoing.
Jones was convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in a 2012 Fort Worth, Texas, case, and possession of prohibited substances in a correctional facility the following year, according to Texas records. He was sentenced to two six-year terms and released from prison in Texas in August 2019. Minnesota court records show no previous charges against him.
“My heart sinks to know that a mother and her two children were taken from us in such a senseless and violent way. We will do everything in our power to bring justice to the victims and our community in this case,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a statement.