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An 11-year-old Minnesota boy who was fatally shot along with his mother and sister, allegedly identified his mother's ex-boyfriend as their killer before dying.
TeKeith Jones, 26, is now facing three counts of second-degree murder for the Saturday deaths of D’Zondria Wallace, 30, her 14-year-old daughter La’Porsha and 11-year-old son Ja’Corbie, according to authorities.
“I know that Ja’Corbie fought to stay alive to say it was his mom’s boyfriend,” cousin Jeanette Whitehall told The Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Now Coby can rest.”
Jones allegedly confessed to the murders and said he had carried out the brutal slayings because he had wanted to “save” the victims, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
Police were called to the St. Paul residence around 3 p.m. Saturday after a 911 caller reported three people in the house and “blood everywhere,” the complaint said.
The first officer who arrived at the scene tried to enter the apartment, but one of the victims—later identified as 14-year-old La’Porsha Wallace—had been lying in front of the door, unconscious and not breathing.
After officers were able to get inside, they discovered two more victims laying face down.
The children’s mother D’Zondria was also unconscious and not breathing on the couch, but her 11-year-old son Ja’Corbie Wallace was still alive and making gurgling sounds, according to the complaint.
The officer pulled up Ja’Corbie’s shirt and noticed he had two gunshot wounds to his back and saw several shell casings on the floor.
Authorities would ultimately recover a total of 14 spent shell casings throughout the apartment.
First responders were able to ask Ja’Corbie who shot him and the boy replied, “Keith” and indicated the man was his mother’s boyfriend, according to the complaint.
The 11-year-old was rushed to the local hospital for emergency surgery but died later that night as a result of his injuries. An autopsy would later determine that he had been shot five times.
His mother was shot twice and his sister was struck 10 times, authorities said.
D’Zondria’s cousin would also tell police that the 30-year-old had been dating a “very short man” named Keith who had tattoos all over his upper body, the court documents stated.
D’Zondria’s nephew also told police that although D’Zondria and Jones had broken up, he continued to come to her home, once breaking into a kitchen window in December. The nephew reported that he “swung” D’Zondria around and accused of her of seeing other men before he eventually calmed down, according to the complaint.
But the next morning, the nephew told police Jones “became upset again” and fired a pistol at D’Zondria’s head, but it missed, police said. Authorities were never called about the incident.
Then in January, D’Zondria reportedly began to date someone else.
Her mother Mary Wallace told the Star Tribune that Jones had been “jealous” about D'Zondria's new romantic interest.
“She was fearing for her life,” she said.
On Sunday night, the St. Paul SWAT team arrested Jones, taking into custody a Ruger 9mm handgun with an extended magazine that they found nearby.
During an interview with police, Jones allegedly told officers that he had been in Minnesota for about eight to 12 months to be closer to his family.
Jones told police that a few months ago his brother had been killed and he was “going through a life experience he didn’t understand.” As a result, he wanted “to save someone so they wouldn’t have to go through what he did,” investigators said.
When the conversation turned to D’Zondria and her family, he initially claimed he hadn’t seen his one-time girlfriend in several weeks but then later admitted to being at the home the day of the killings.
He then allegedly confessed to the crime, telling investigators he did it to “save” the children.
“Hell yeah, I saved them—they can go up there and be holy,” he said, according to the complaint.
Jones allegedly told authorities he was had tried to keep D’Zondria from “killing her own kids” and said that she “was playing mind games and corrupting the kids.”
He allegedly admitted using the handgun recovered by investigators to carry out the triple homicide but said he was “not a monster” and had “kissed them all.”
“Jones said he was just trying to break the cycle and did not want them to feel the pain that he felt,” the complaint stated.
Jones appeared in court Tuesday and was appointed a public defender to represent him. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 2, according to the local paper.
“My heart sinks to know that a mother and her two children were taken from us in such a senseless and violent way,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement obtained by The Bemidji Pioneer. “We will do everything in our power to bring justice to the victims and our community in this case.”
Jones has a prior criminal history and was convicted in 2012 of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in Texas, the paper reports. The following year, he was convicted of possession of prohibited substances in a correctional facility. He was released from prison in August 2019.
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