Six men were taken into custody following a police chase that began Friday at the funeral of the man fatally shot last month at the Mall of America, including three allegedly carrying guns, according to St. Paul police.
St. Paul officers were stationed outside St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church and Elmhurst Cemetery, both in St. Paul, for services for Johntae Hudson, a 19-year-old shot and killed at the mall on Dec. 23.
During the services officers noticed one man possessing a handgun, and another they identified as wanted for a non-fatal shooting Dec. 14 in St. Paul where a man was shot in the chest, St. Paul police Sgt. Mike Ernster said.
Officers monitored the two, and at roughly 3:15 p.m. saw them leave the cemetery and get into an SUV with five other men, Ernster said.
The SUV pulled into a gas station at Dale Street N. and Larpenteur Avenue W., and officers tried to stop it in the parking lot. One of the other men allegedly jumped out of the SUV and ran, before getting taken into custody by nearby officers.
The two suspects from the funeral stayed in the vehicle as it fled the lot westbound on Larpenteur, Ernster said. The vehicle went north on Fairview Avenue, west on Hwy. 36 and south on Interstate 35 West to the area of SE. University Avenue, where officers lost sight of the SUV.
Assisting agencies located the vehicle abandoned near SE. 11th and University avenues.
Four 19-year-old men and one 18-year-old man were found in the nearby area and taken into custody.
Police say that the 18-year-old man was the one armed at the funeral, and that a canine officer searched the area and found a bag nearby containing a 9mm handgun and clothes he was wearing at the service.
One of the 19-year-old men had a 9mm handgun on him and another had an AR pistol in his backpack, Ernster said.
The 19-year-old male driver was arrested on police suspicion for fleeing police in a vehicle, Ernster said. All five located near the vehicle were arrested and booked into Ramsey County jail on suspicion of various charges, Ernster said.
The Dec. 14 shooting suspect who police say attended the funeral was not located, and is still wanted, Ernster said. That shooting took place at around 4:40 p.m. in the 500 block of Cottage Avenue, according to a police report.
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