Lamar Hale posted about getting gunned down hours before he was murdered on St. Paul street
Lamar Hale (pic via Facebook)
On Wednesday, Lamar Hale posted a Facebook status about getting shot. Within hours he was dead after being gunned down on a street in the Payne-Phalen area of St. Paul.
The man charged with second-degree murder for shooting Hale, 25, is his cousin, 24-year-old Chevaze Ward, who'd been beefing with Hale over money in recent days, the criminal complaint says.
On Monday, Hale posted this photo to Facebook:
Then, just hours before he was gunned down, Hale posted this:
Witnesses say Ward and Hale confronted each other at a Mobil station at East Seventh Street and Cypress Street shortly before the shooting.
Ward was sitting in a Mercury Sable with a number of his family members when he saw Hale standing next to a silver Buick in the gas station parking lot.
"[Hale] said, 'What's up?' He said it in a confrontational way," the complaint says, citing an account given to police by one of Ward's fellow passengers.
A man who says he was driving the Sable at the time of the shooting gave police this account of the conversation that occurred in the car shortly before shots rang out (taken from the complaint):
[The driver] was aware that [Hale and Ward] were having an argument about money. He heard that [Hale] wanted to fight with the defendant [i.e., Ward] over the incident. He, his uncle, and his father were also present with the defendant in the car prior to the shooting. They were telling the defendant that they are family so they should work it out. The defendant said that he is big and has two bad knees so he cannot fight anymore. The defendant said that he would just shoot whoever wanted to fight with him.
And indeed, that's how it played out, or so the complaint says. Another passenger in Ward's car gave police this account of the shooting:
A short time [after leaving the gas station] they were stopped at Arcade Street south of Case Avenue for a traffic light. [Hale] pulled up, driving the silver Buick. He was positioned along the passenger side of the green car. [Hale] got out of the Buick and walked around the driver's side of the green car. He opened the rear door on the driver's side and attempted to pull the defendant out of the car. The defendant then pulled a handgun out of a white sock and shot [Hale] multiple times. The defendant then ran away on foot. The others got out of the green car, pulled the victim into the Buick, and drove to the fire station for help.
(For more, click to page two.)
Ward, for his part, was arrested after officers spotted him "walking at a quick pace" southbound on Desoto Street toward York Avenue.
Another photo from Hale's Facebook.
"He was sweating profusely and breathing heavily," the complaint says. "Officers also used a canine and tracked from the area of the arrest. Officers recovered a handgun inside of a white tube sock on top of a retaining wall near 908 Desoto."
At Regions Hospital, Hale's mother told police "her son had been involved in an argument for the past several days with the defendant, who is his cousin," the complaint says.
"She stated that the family calls the defendant by the nickname 'REZZY,'" it continues. "The two of them were arguing on the phone just the day before. When her son hung up, he told her that REZZY had threatened to shoot him."
A Ramsey County law enforcement official tells us Ward was convicted of a first-degree controlled substance crime for selling cocaine in October 2008. Two months later, he was convicted of possessing 10 grams or more of of a controlled substance. He was released from prison in January of this year, and is on parole until August 2016.
Ward was still in custody as of Saturday night. A Ramsey County official tells us his bail is set at $1 million.
St. Paul Police Department spokesman Paul Paulos tells us Hale's murder was St. Paul's sixth of the year.
To read the charges for yourself, click to page three:
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