A man charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman outside a St. Paul bar early Wednesday told authorities it was an accident during what the charges describe as a playful interaction with the victim.
Surveillance video showed Dominique Deangelo Taylor, 20, and Taquita Williams, 25, “jostling and shoving one another” outside the Trend Bar on the 1500 block of University Avenue about 1:15 a.m. when a gun went off. A bullet struck Williams in the abdomen. She was taken by private vehicle to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.
In addition to manslaughter, Taylor was also was charged with felony crime committed for benefit of a gang.
After gunshots were heard, the video showed Taylor picking “something up from the ground and putting it in his pants” before he left in a different vehicle, the charges say.
Police later arrested Taylor at Regions Hospital where he had gone to check on Williams. They found a .380 handgun in his sweatpants. Officers asked him if it was safe to remove it, and Taylor replied, “I don’t know. That’s the one that went off on her,” the complaint said.
Taylor told investigators that he and Williams were talking when she grabbed him, causing the gun to fall to the ground. Taylor said that he was “too drunk” to stop the handgun from falling from his pants, that it discharged and a bullet struck Williams, the charges said.
Taylor called it “an accident,” the complaint said.
Taylor said that he was the founder of a street gang and needed the gun, which he bought on the street about a week earlier, for protection, the charges said.
Taylor has two felony convictions for aggravated robbery in the first degree that make him ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition. He was released from the Minnesota Department of Corrections on May 4.
Williams’ death was the city’s 17th homicide of the year.