Minneapolis man gets 30 years for killing St. Paul 19-year-old amid Mall of America holiday shoppers

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One of two teens charged in the fatal shooting of a St. Paul 19-year-old at the Mall of America was sentenced to 30½ years in prison Thursday.

TaeShawn Adams-Wright and LaVon Sema-J Longstreet “stalked and executed” 19-year-old Johntae Raymon Hudson — shooting him eight times in the back — while “surrounded by horrified holiday shoppers” in Nordstrom’s on Dec. 23, 2022, Hennepin County prosecutors wrote in a court filing this week.

Johntae Raymon Hudson was fatally shot Dec. 23, 2022, inside Nordstrom’s at the Mall of America. (Courtesy of GoFundMe)

In March, Adams-Wright, 19, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty as charged to second-degree murder in Hudson’s killing and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon for wounding a shopper. He faced up to 40 years in prison.

Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin handed down Thursday’s sentence.

“Adams-Wright engaged in gun violence that endangered the lives of countless people as they enjoyed their day at the Mall of America,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement. “A long prison sentence is appropriate to sufficiently protect public safety.”

Longstreet, of Minneapolis, was 17 when he was charged in juvenile court with the same two counts as Adams-Wright, who was 18 when he was charged. A judge later certified Longstreet to adult court, and he is scheduled to be tried in front of a jury next week.

‘Touted’ the killing

Authorities say the shooting stemmed from an argument, the nature of which hasn’t been disclosed.

Citing surveillance video, the charges say Adams-Wright, Longstreet and three male accomplices chased Hudson, who was with two friends, on the first floor of the department store. A fight broke out and as Hudson tried to run he was knocked into multiple store displays. Customers and employees fled and hid.

Adams-Wright and Longstreet both stood over Hudson and fired their semiautomatic handguns, which were equipped with extended magazines, the charges say.

The group fled the store to a parked car nearby.

Hudson was pronounced dead at the scene, despite the lifesaving efforts of a witness, mall security and medics. Ballistics evidence showed Hudson fired his own gun twice, the charges say.

A woman who was in the store with her teenage daughter reported a bullet grazed her as she was on the floor taking cover.

After the shooting, Adams-Wright, Longstreet and the accomplices went to Longstreet’s aunt’s house, where they all “touted their responsibility” for Hudson’s killing on Snapchat, prosecutors say.

TaeShawn Adams-Wright and LaVon Sema-J Longstreet (Courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Within 12 hours, Bloomington police arrested Adams-Wright and he’s remained jailed since.

Longstreet went on the run to Decatur, Ga., where he was arrested by U.S. marshals nearly a month after the killing.

Other MOA incidents

The shooting was the third at the Bloomington mall in a span of just under a year, and the first homicide involving a gun.

It was the scene of a shooting on Dec. 31, 2021, when two men were wounded during an altercation.

Gunfire erupted during a fistfight in the Nike store in August 2022. No one was injured in that incident.

Three weeks later, a Woodbury man was arrested for robbing a kiosk and the Lids apparel store of items at the mall while carrying a long rifle.

RELATED: A behind-the-scenes look at MOA security

MOA bans guns on the premises, but does not have metal detectors upon entry. When the mall opened in 1992, it was not designed with metal detectors in mind, MOA officials say. There are 27 public entrances and, unlike venues that host a relatively limited number of events, the mall is open 363 days a year and up to 16 hours a day. About 32 million people visit the mall annually.

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