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Suspect says he knew there'd be fighting, but not shooting

By Janice Gregorson

gregor@postbulletin.com

Michael Hughes said he knew there was going to be another fight when he joined friends early Sunday.

But he told authorities he didn't know there would be a shooting that would result in death and injury, according to new details contained in a criminal complaint. Hughes, 20, of Minneapolis, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 19-year-old Samoeun Sam.

Hughes turned himself in to Rochester police Tuesday and was arraigned on a six-count criminal complaint Thursday. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of commission of a crime for the benefit of a gang.

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Earlier this week, Viengvilay Phetsomphou, 20, of Rochester, was arraigned on similar charges. He is alleged to have driven the getaway car after the shooting, which occurred in the 5200 block of Kingston Place Northwest.

Olmsted County Attorney Ray Schmitz filed identical charges against Samphan Roeun, 21, no known address. He was arrested Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Hughes claims Roeun was the shooter, firing numerous shots from a 9-millimeter gun at Sam, who was walking outside the Kingston Place residence, and at a car parked across the street containing two other people. One of those people, a 22-year-old Rochester man, suffered a head injury and has been hospitalized. Sam died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Authorities say the shooting was the result of an ongoing dispute between the Baby Gangster Crips gang and others. According to the criminal complaint, Phetsomphou said both Hughes and Roeun are members of that gang. Hughes says he is not a gang member but associates with Baby Gangster Crips members.

According to the complaint, Hughes said he went to a party at a northwest Rochester restaurant and a fight broke out shortly after midnight. He and his friends then went to a residence in southwest Rochester. There, Hughes said, several people talked about finding the people they had been fighting with at the restaurant. Hughes said they got into cars to search for the others, and he went along knowing they were going to fight the other people.

Hughes said they drove in Roeun's car. He said two women drove ahead in another car until one of them pointed out a house to Roeun. Hughes told police it was then he realized Roeun had a gun with him, the complaint said.

He said he heard Roeun cock the gun in the car before they got out. He said Roeun told Phetsomphou to take the driver's seat while he and Hughes went toward the house.

According to the complaint, Hughes said he and Roeun walked behind the house and waited five to 10 minutes until hearing voices and the door to the house opened. Hughes said he came around the corner of the house and saw an Asian male run to the right side. He said he caught the person and they fought. Hughes told police he heard one or two shots and broke away from the man he was fighting and saw Roeun holding a pistol with his arm extended.

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Hughes said Roeun was standing 10 to 15 feet from the car parked across the street, shooting at the car. Hughes told police Roeun then fired at the house. He said he heard about eight shots. He said he and Roeun got into the car, and Phetsomphou drove away.

The complaint said police found 10 spent shell casings in the area in front of the house. They also saw bullet holes in the front of the house and in another residence farther to the south.

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