Charges against man who fatally shot his child's mother

Monday, December 02, 2019

A Minneapolis man was charged with murder in the shooting death of his child’s mother on Thanksgiving night, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Randall Watkins, 41, was charged with one count of second-degree intentional murder in the death of 27-year-old Raven Gant. Watkins is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, police arrived at 2653 James Ave. N. on what was first reported as a domestic and then a shooting. Watkins was at the door and was arrested by police, who found Gant lying on her back in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. She died shortly before 11 p.m. at North Memorial Medical Center.

When police entered the home, they saw a two-year-old girl in the dining room and asked her where her mother was. The girl said her mother was on the floor, the complaint states. Watkins said the girl was his child.

Gant’s father arrived at the house while police were there and told them his daughter called him at 10:08 p.m. and said Watkins would not let her out of the house. He and other witnesses told police that Gant had been trying to get away from Watkins for a while and that Watkins had previously beaten her, resulting in two black eyes and other injuries, according to the complaint.

Gant’s father said he tried to confront Watkins about those injuries at the time they occurred, but Watkins had a gun and shot him in the back as he was about to drive away, the complaint states. Watkins had also taken all the clothes belonging to Gant and her daughter and would not return them.

However, earlier in the day, Watkins called Gant and told her she could meet him at the house at 9:30 p.m. and he would return all her stuff, according to the complaint. The autopsy found Gant was shot once in the left back.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)