Last defendant in store shootout pleads guilty


The last person with involvement in the shootout at the Emerson Food Market last year pleaded guilty to aiding an offender after the fact, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Kevin Martinez, 20, of Columbia Heights, made a straight guilty plea in court Monday. There were no pre-conditions to his plea and prosecution and defense will argue over his sentence on Sept. 9. The county attorney’s office is researching the length of sentence to request.

According to the criminal complaint and Martinez’s statements during his guilty plea, about 9:30 a.m. Sept. 9, 2018, 18-year-old Jamarius Shief and Demerio Davis, 20, both of Minneapolis entered the Emerson Food Market at 2628 Emerson Ave. N. They immediately got into a discussion with two men already in the store, Martinez and 23-year-old Samuel Abron-Yeager of Fridley.

Davis and Shief left the store and Davis went around the corner for a moment. Then he and Shief returned to the store and Shief began punching Martinez. Davis, meanwhile, stood by the door and fired several shots at Abron-Yeager.

Abron-Yeager pulled out his own gun, chased after Davis and fired several shots outside the store before crumbling to the ground from his bullet wounds. One of those shots killed Shief, so Martinez went outside where the gravely wounded Abron-Yeager handed Martinez the gun. Martinez fled the scene taking the murder weapon with him.

Abron-Yeager was rushed to the hospital, where he died from the shots fired by Davis. In February, Davis pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 195 months in prison.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)