Charges: Downtown St. Paul shooting suspect was wanted for skipping two sentencings this month

An alleged gunman charged Wednesday with shooting and critically injuring a man Monday afternoon near a downtown St. Paul light-rail station had skipped out on two sentencings for violent crimes the week before, according to court documents.

William Anthony Maki, 20, of St. Paul, was wanted on warrants for skipping the hearings when he shot the 37-year-old man in the abdomen at close range at Fifth and Cedar streets, authorities say. He also was on probation out of Hennepin County.

Police arrested Maki at apartments across the street the same day of the shooting.

He went before Ramsey County Judge Andrew Gordon on the new charges Wednesday, and was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Man with gunshot wound at the scene

Police sent to the shooting just before 4 p.m. on Monday found the man on the ground with a gunshot wound near his belly button. He was conscious and breathing, and said he did not know who shot him, just that he rides the light-rail train. He was transported to Regions Hospital, where he was taken to surgery in critical condition. His condition was later upgraded to stable.

Officers recovered a 9mm casing from the scene.

The man’s girlfriend said they had just gotten off the light-rail train and were crossing the street when he was shot, according to the criminal complaint. She said the shooter was six feet away when he fired.

She said she knew the shooter as “Will” and that was with a woman who lived at the Press House Apartments across the street at 345 Cedar Street.

A witness also told police the shooter was with a woman who lived at the apartments.

Surveillance video, search warrant

Surveillance footage caught the shooting. Additional footage showed the shooter and two women walking from the apartment building and returning 10 minutes later, the complaint says.

Police searched the apartment and arrested the women and suspected shooter, who was identified as Maki, the complaint says. He appeared to have had shaved his hair after the shooting, and acknowledged as much to officers.

The shoes seen on video being worn by the shooter were at the apartment’s door, and a Walther 9mm handgun was found under a chair cushion. The gun had been reported as stolen out of Hennepin County. Clothes the shooter wore were in a washing machine.

In an interview with investigators, Maki denied he left the apartment with the women. He was shown a photo of the shooting victim, and said he’d seen him around.

When an investigator said she knew he was the shooter and wanted to know why he did it, Maki “had no explanation and nodded to the door indicating the interview was over,” the complaint says.

The complaint says the shooting victim picked Maki out of a photo line-up as the gunman while saying, “That’s the (expletive) right there.”

Maki was charged with second-degree assault and two counts of possession of a firearm after conviction of a crime of violence.

Skipped sentencings

Court records show Maki pleaded guilty to felony threats of violence in Anoka County on Oct. 31 for firing an automatic BB gun at an occupied car, shattering a window and showering the occupants with glass near his then-home in Columbia Heights on Nov. 29, 2022.

A plea agreement called for a stayed prison sentence and two years of probation. He was released on his previously posted bond and told to come back for his Jan. 8 sentencing. He did not.

Just over two weeks later, Maki was in a Ramsey County courtroom and pleaded guilty to an August 2023 charge of felony fifth-degree drug possession.

According the criminal complaint in that case, St. Paul officers were called to the area of Dale and Blair avenues just before 2 a.m. Aug. 28 on a report of criminal activity. They stopped Maki for riding a bike without lights, and he was found with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, as well as jewelry and bank cards stolen from a car along Charles Avenue the night before, the complaint says. Inside his backpack were a drill, reciprocating saw, flashlight and batteries.

Maki was set to be sentenced to a stay of adjudication and probation at his Jan. 10 sentencing, which he failed to attend.

Court records show Maki was convicted of burglarizing a northeast Minneapolis home in January of last year. In October, a judge stayed a 364-day sentence to the Hennepin County workhouse for two years and put him on probation.

On Dec. 4, Maki was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in Anoka County and sentenced to 63 days in jail, time which he had already served.

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