St. Paul murder charge: Man shot into car, killing driver, as his girlfriend was in passenger seat

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A month after a St. Paul man was released from prison, prosecutors say he shot into a car and killed a 21-year-old man who was driving his girlfriend.

Toumai Gaynor died Thursday after the North End shooting.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Martavious D. Roby-English, 21, on Tuesday with murder and attempted murder.

St. Paul officers responded to a shooting at 2:28 a.m. Thursday on Simcoe Street near Milford Street. They found Gaynor, of St. Paul, slumped over in the driver’s seat of a Toyota Camry that was backed into a fence and yard of a home. St. Paul fire medics took Gaynor to Regions Hospital with gunshot wounds to his head, hip and arm, and he died about 11:15 a.m.

An 18-year-old said Gaynor was her friend and he was driving her Camry. He was trying to make a U-turn when a man ran up to the car and started shooting.

Police identified the shooter as Roby-English, according to the criminal complaint.

The 18-year-old said she’d been in a relationship with Roby-English for three years and they continued to communicate while he was incarcerated.

Officers arrested Roby-English Monday at his residence about three-tenths of a mile from the shooting. He told investigators that he sent his girlfriend $250 via a cash app and she was supposed to withdraw cash, so he could repay his father. She stopped by Wednesday afternoon and didn’t have the money, but said she would bring it later.

Roby-English said he waited until 12:30 or 12:45 a.m. on Thursday before he texted her, wondering where she was. She told him she was three minutes away and on her way. He checked her location, but discovered she’d stopped shared it with him. He said that made him mad “because it was a sign of mistrust,” according to the complaint.

He left his house and texted his girlfriend to say he was on his way. She told him she wasn’t going to his house and they could talk later.

“Roby-English said he was watching from down the street,” according to the complaint. “She told him she was just sitting in her car before dropping a person off. Roby-English saw someone get in her car, so he texted bye and that he was going home.” But he ran up to her car, knocked on her window and yelled at her, “Get the (expletive) out of the car!”

In surveillance video from the area, a male voice could be heard saying, “Get out of the (expletive) car or I’ll kill you! Get out of the car or I’ll kill you!” and about seven gunshots were heard.

Roby-English told police he heard gunshots and then he used his gun to fire at the car and he left.

Officers found a firearm, which had blood on it, directly behind the Camry. The 18-year-old told police she had thrown Gaynor’s gun behind the car because she thought he “was going to live and she didn’t want him to get in trouble for having a gun,” the complaint said. “The gun was hot when she touched it, so she realized it had been fired.”

Roby-English said the gun he fired belonged to a cousin and he had it for protection. He asked his cousin to retrieve it after the shooting.

He said he told a friend what happened the next morning. “He told his friend that he regretted it, and he did it to himself,” the complaint continued. “Roby-English said that going to prison for 10-12 years wasn’t a problem, but doing life in prison was a different issue.”

Roby-English was released from prison under supervision on April 22. In May 2022, he was sentenced for second-degree assault in Ramsey County after an innocent bystander was struck by gunfire when Roby-English and others were involved in a gang-related shootout in a store parking lot, the complaint said.

In June 2022, Roby-English’s extended juvenile jurisdiction sentence sentence was revoked and his adult sentence was imposed. In that case, also in Ramsey County, Roby-English shot into a vehicle and a man was hit in the chest, the complaint said.

An attorney wasn’t listed for Roby-English in the murder case as of Tuesday afternoon. The attempted murder charge alleges he tried to cause his girlfriend’s death in the shooting.

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