Richfield man charged in first Minneapolis slaying

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Richfield man was charged with second-degree murder in the first 2014 Minneapolis homicide, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Brandon Deandre Bell, 24, was charged in the Jan. 23 shooting of Darnell Harris, 61, of Minneapolis outside of 4453 First Ave. S. Harris was shot in the right leg and died three days later of complications from that bullet wound.

“The only lesson to be learned from this tragedy is that once a bullet is fired, there is no telling what damage it will do,” Freeman said. “At first, this looked like it would be a minor injury and we would charge some sort of an aggravated assault. But the leg wound killed Mr. Harris and we are now charging a murder and will pursue it aggressively.”

According to the criminal complaint (PDF), a Minnesota State Patrol Officer saw a vehicle off the road at the 35th Street entrance ramp to northbound Interstate 35W. Harris was slipping in and out of consciousness, but he told the officer that “Brandon” had shot him near 45th Street and First Avenue.

Minneapolis police officers were already at the scene investigating shots fired. A shell casing was found and a witness said he had surveillance cameras that might show what happened. A review of the video revealed two cars pull up and park and eventually a man getting out of one of the cars and firing at the second one as it drove away.

Bell told police he intended to rob Harris of drugs and money, according to the complaint.