Jawan Carroll charged in shooting outside of downtown nightclub


A Minneapolis man was charged in the downtown Monarch nightclub shooting that killed two people, and wounded seven others, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Jawan Carroll, 24, a member of the North Minneapolis street gang known as the “Tres Tres,” was charged with two counts of intentional second-degree murder for fatally shooting 21-year-old Charlie Johnson of Golden Valley, and 24-year-old Christopher Jones of Brooklyn Park which occurred outside of Monarch nightclub. Carroll also faces seven counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting and injuring proximate victims.

Carroll is set to make his first appearance May 27 at 1:30 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 22 just before 2 a.m., police responded to numerous gunshot sounds outside the Monarch nightclub on 322 First Avenue North in Minneapolis. When they arrived, officers found several people with apparent gunshot wounds, and, Jones lying dead on the sidewalk near the club’s entrance with gunshot wounds to his upper body.

Seven additional victims were identified by police as having suffered gunshot injuries in front of Monarch nightclub. A half of a block away, on First Avenue, an errant bullet fatally struck Johnson in the back.

A female witness, who was an additional victim of gunfire, told police that she was a block south of Monarch nightclub when she heard gunfire coming from two firearms, the complaint states. She was shot in the back and was treated at the hospital for a minor wound.

In surveillance video obtained by police, they noted that dozens of people around Monarch nightclub began to flee in a panic or duck for cover around 2 a.m., less Carroll, who was standing and firing his gun at Jones, the complaint continues.

Officers further evaluated events leading up to the shooting via surveillance video, and found that Carroll and two associates had a verbal exchange with Jones’ group of companions at 1:57 a.m. About two minutes after the verbal confrontation, Jones was punched in the head by a member of Carroll’s group, the complaint says. Carroll then pulled out a gun and began shooting at Jones.

Jones attempted to flee, but was obstructed by people in front of Monarch nightclub. At nearly 1:59 a.m., Jones stopped running, turned back to face Carroll, and with a gun in his right hand, began firing at Carroll.

The two men continued shooting at one another, with Carroll aiming north down the sidewalk at Jones, and Jones firing back southbound at Carroll. Throughout the commotion of gunfire, a crowd of people were still present. Two seconds before 1:59 a.m., Jones dropped to the sidewalk, where he was later found dead, the complaint states. Carroll and his associates then ran from the area.

During the gunfire exchange, Carroll was the only shooter firing northbound down the sidewalk, while Jones’ fired south towards Carroll. A witness with Johnson said they were walking in an alley directly north of the nightclub and they eventually stepped out to walk east on a sidewalk along First Avenue when the shooting started. Johnson began running north down the sidewalk when he was shot in the back, and eventually died on the corner of First Avenue and Third Street.

Surveillance video corroborates what this witness told police.

Autopsies performed by the medical examiner on each of the male victims concluded that Jones died from multiple gunshot wounds, including two to the chest, and Johnson died from a single gunshot wound to the upper back that travelled into his chest, the complaint says.

A forensic examination determined that the three projectiles recovered from the bodies of Jones were from a .40 caliber firearm, and the single bullet that killed Johnson was also from a .40 caliber firearm, the complaint states.

Following review of video and physical evidence, witness statements and accounting for the timing, direction and trajectory of Carroll’s gunfire, officers determined that Carroll’s shooting was the cause of Johnson and Jones’ deaths, and the seven non-lethal wounds seven additional victims suffered.

A few hours after the shooting, investigators learned that Carroll and one of his associates lived in separate rooms at the Comfort Inn in Bloomington. Officers conducted a search of those rooms, and found a pair of distinct purple shoes Carroll was wearing during the shooting that were seen in the surveillance video, the complaint says. After officers left the Comfort Inn, one of the associates contacted police to ask about the search of his room. He also admitted to them that he was in downtown Minneapolis when the shootings happened, and that he punched Jones.

An additional witness, who officers knew was connected with Carroll and the other associates, was interviewed by police. He was able to identify Carroll and the two other associates from stills taken from surveillance footage during the shooting, the complaint states.

When the shooting occurred, Carroll had pending felony cases including second-degree assault and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.

View the criminal complaint against Carroll (PDF).