Second shooter given 30 years for killing of St. Paul man at Mall of America

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One of two teens charged with fatally shooting a St. Paul 19-year-old at Mall of America in 2022 received a 30½-year prison term Monday, an identical sentence his accomplice was given last month.

LaVon Sema-J Longstreet and TaeShawn Adams-Wright “stalked and executed” 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 court filings.

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

Longstreet, of Minneapolis, was 17 when he was charged in juvenile court and a judge later certified him to adult court. He pleaded guilty May 31, a day after Adams-Wright, 19, of Minneapolis, was sentenced to 30½ years in prison.

Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin handed down both sentences.

“With the sentencing of Mr. Longstreet and his co-defendant, who killed one person and put the lives of many more at risk, we’ve now held both major actors accountable for Mr. Hudson’s death,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement. “These lengthy prison sentences reflect the severity of their actions and protect public safety.”

The shooting is the first fatal shooting at the Bloomington mall, which opened in 1992, and the second homicide.

Longstreet arrested a month later

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.

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

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.

Within 12 hours, Bloomington police arrested Adams-Wright and he has 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.

‘People were scared’

In a court filing last week, the vice president of security at the Mall of America said the impact of the fatal shooting was “far-reaching.”

“When this happened it was all anyone was talking about and it made national news because of the mall’s brand,” according to the statement, which was compiled by Hennepin County Community Corrections as part of a presentence investigation.

The gunfire prompted an hourlong lockdown at the crowded mall during the busy holiday shopping season “and there was a massive notification of the risk,” the statement says. “People were scared.”

Since the shooting, the mall has had to fight the public perception that it is not a safe place, the statement says.

“Money has been spent on increased security measures and extra security and police measures,” it continues. “This had a negative impact on everyone in the mall and it is difficult to fathom the scope of how far-reaching it is.”

The shooting was the third at MOA in a span of just under a year.

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 rifle.

The other homicide at MOA occurred on May 4, 1999, when a 23-year-old man fatally stabbed his 17-year-old former girlfriend as she left the mall, where she worked, after reportedly seeing her with another man.

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