St. Paul man gets life in prison in fatal shooting - KMSP-TV

St. Paul man gets life in prison for reckless driving confrontation

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A 19-year-old St. Paul man will spend life in prison without parole after fatally shooting a man who confronted him for driving too fast.

Aloeng Vang has been found guilty of one count of first-degree murder and second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 50-year-old Jeffrey Elling, of St. Paul, who confronted Vang for driving recklessly through his neighborhood in September 2013.

THE SHOOTING

According to charges, Vang left the scene after being confronted, got a gun, knocked on Elling's door and shot him when he answered the door.

Officers found Elling on the 1400 block of York Avenue suffering an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to charges, Elling and his girlfriend were outside smoking a cigarette on the porch when they saw an animal cross the road and decided to follow it. While they were trying to find it, a Toyota came speeding around the corner from Birmingham Street and began driving east on York Avenue, nearly striking Elling and his girlfriend. The car then stopped along York Avenue.

Vang got out of the car when Elling went to confront him over his driving. Charging documents claim Vang appeared intoxicated and fell to the ground from the push. The two men continued to talk, but Vang then went inside 1435 York Avenue and Elling and his girlfriend returned to sit on their front steps.

Several minutes later, a woman approached Elling and asked about the altercation with Vang. Elling said he was upset about Vang's driving, then he and his girlfriend went inside their home. Shortly thereafter, Elling got up to answer the door while his girlfriend sat in the kitchen. As Elling opened the door, his girlfriend heard two shots and the glass front door shatter. She told police she then saw Elling fall out onto the front steps and out of view.

Officers arrived and pronounced Elling dead at the scene. A bullet wound was visible at the base of his neck and his shirt saturated with blood. His right leg was on the front stoop and left foot inside the home on the entry mat.

While officers scoured the scene, Vang ducked underneath crime-scene tape and said, "I'm the guy you're looking for."

Police spoke to Vang's wife who heard part of the initial altercation and heard Vang yell to Elling, "Are we cool, bro?" Vang then walked past his wife into the house without saying anything to her. About ten minutes later, Vang left and his wife heard two shots. About 20 minutes later, Vang returned and his wife pleaded for him to tell her that he didn't fire the gun. Vang told her to trust him and said, "You should know me."

Vang eventually admitted he shot Elling, saying "I should have just whooped his ass," and that he was angry following their altercation. Vang said his shots weren't supposed to hit Elling, but rather, he was just trying to frighten him.

Family members told FOX 9 News Elling survived a motorcycle accident and chemotherapy, and they were shocked to learn he was shot to death after confronting a driver in his own neighborhood.

"His girlfriend called him the protector of the neighborhood 'cause he was always telling kids to get out of the way," Cathy Lorentzen explained.

Describing Elling as a funny man who loved pranks and worked for his family's moving company, Lorentzen said going to miss her brother's practical jokes.

Vang admitted to relatives he was angry because he felt Elling disrespected him, but that reason is admittedly baffling to Elling's family.

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