Stepfather accused of starting gunfight that ended in 14-year-old's death in Woodbury

Keith Dawson, 35, of St. Paul allegedly fired several shots at an SUV outside the party as he drove by, prompting the SUV’s occupants to return fire, according to a criminal complaint filed against him Monday, June 7, in Washington County District Court.

Dawson told investigators he is the stepfather of 14-year-old Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl, who died in the shootout, Woodbury police said in a news release. Dawson faces four felony counts, including drive-by shooting, illegally possessing a firearm, and two second-degree assault charges.

“This tragic loss of a young person’s life weighs heavy on the community and on Woodbury Officers,” the police department’s news release said. “A chance encounter resulting in a dispute leading to tragedy is no way to celebrate a graduation. This incident does not define a neighborhood or its residents, or our community at large.”

Keith Dawson, 35, of St. Paul

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Woodbury police responded at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday to a residence on the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue, where multiple 911 callers reported

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