Young man shot outside gas station

Drug deal gone wrong leads to first St. Paul homicide of the year


Antonio Seals

Jan. 3 marked the first homicide of the year on the East Side.

Devonte Rashawn Coppage, 22, of Brooklyn Park is dead after meeting at a gas station at the intersection of Maryland and White Bear avenues to buy marijuana, according to a criminal complaint from the Ramsey County attorney’s office.

Antonio Seals, 18, of St. Paul is charged with shooting Coppage to death in the incident, the complaint said.

Police reported to the BP gas station at the intersection of Maryland and White Bear avenues at 6:30 p.m. Friday to find the young man dead inside the store.

Coppage was shot as he sat in a dark-colored sedan in the parking lot of the store and attempted to purchase marijuana, according to the complaint. He emerged from the car, after which the car fled.

Coppage’s brother was standing by the convenience store and surfing the Internet on his smartphone, when he heard the gunshots. He ran around the corner of the building and saw his brother lying on the ground. He carried him inside the store to keep him out of the severe cold, he told police.

Police said they recovered 24.7 grams of marijuana from the scene.

In addition to Seals, officers also arrested two other 21-year-old male suspects in the case, later in the evening.

Though public, the East Side Review doesn’t typically publish suspects’ names before charges are filed.

Arrested at the hospital

The three suspects were arrested at Regions Hospital, where an officer was in place and waiting to see if any suspects would arrive with injuries from the shooting.

Sure enough, three males arrived in a dark-colored sedan matching the description of the vehicle involved in the homicide.

The officer followed the trio into the hospital, where Seals was being treated for a gunshot wound to his left forearm.

Seals reportedly claimed that Coppage shot him during the drug deal.

Police, on the other hand, told Seals it appeared he’d shot himself.

A .38 mm bullet casing was found in Seals’ arm.

Officers said they recovered two pistols - a .38 mm and a .22 mm -- in relation to the incident. The .38 mm had five spent shell casings, whereas there were no spent shells in the .22. There is no indication in the complaint as to where the guns were found.

Coppage’s brother told police he’d heard between three and five shots fired total.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at, or follow on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.


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