Mystery shooter in May drive-by identified, charged with murder

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Stevevontae Dellshawn Champion was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 40-year-old Roderick Evans, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday

Champion, 21, of Minneapolis, made his initial court appearance Wednesday and bail was set at $1 million.

Isaiah Rakeem Wallace, 20, was charged in May for aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Wallace was the driver of the minivan used in the shooting. Wallace was with another person, identified as a juvenile, when the murder occurred. Both Wallace and the teenager said the man in the backseat was the friend of the other person and they didn’t know his name, according to the complaint. However, DNA helped identify Champion as the masked man.

Police officers were called to a shooting near Sixth Street and 36th Avenue North at 12:45 p.m. on May 11 and found Evans lying in the street and bleeding heavily through his shirt. The victim was breathing and officers provided first aid. However, Evans was declared dead after paramedics arrived. The Hennepin County Medical examiner determined that the victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Witnesses told police that a minivan slowed down as it came upon Evans and others standing outside near the intersection and the rear sliding door was open. One of the three men inside the van was wearing a black ski mask and began shooting from the open sliding door, the complaint states. The witnesses told police the light blue minivan had a license number that included 741.

Officers saw the mini-van speeding by them and pursued them to 3642 Colfax Ave. N., where the van halted and Champion sprinted away. Wallace and the juvenile were apprehended. Wallace and the juvenile told police conflicting stories and Champion managed to outrun the officers, according to the complaint.

Champion could not outrun his DNA, however. At the scene of the shooting, police found nine discharged cartridge casings which matched a .40 caliber handgun found in the backseat of the minivan. The gun was tested for DNA and 89 percent of the world’s population could be excluded but Champion could not be excluded. Additionally, Champion’s DNA was found on the ski mask and on the grab handle above the minivan sliding door, according to the complaint.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)