Community, friends seek way forward after shooting
In the wake of the Monday killing of a 22-year-old Rochester man in Parkside Mobile Home Park, residents and friends of the victim are left struggling to make sense of the violent chain of events.
At about 2:15 p.m. Monday, a gunman opened fire on a group of men playing basketball in the street near Park Lane Southeast, killing Trumane "Trey" Lamar Gillmore and injuring two other men, 20-year old Demonterious Davonte Jackson and 18-year old Jerome Richard Zachary.
On Thursday, the alleged shooter, Courtney Eli Ocegueda, 19, was charged in Olmsted County District Court with two counts each of second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, all felonies.
He remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 conditional bail and is due back in court Sept. 23.
Police say the shooting was apparently "retaliatory" after Gillmore, Jackson and Zachary robbed Ocegueda earlier that day. The robbery report came in at about 11:55 a.m. Monday.
The shooting occurred about two hours later, at 2:15 p.m.
Jackson and Zachary were arrested Wednesday and are expected to face charges of first-degree robbery, said Rochester Police Capt. John Sherwin.
Gillmore had several prior criminal convictions, including felony stalking and numerous misdemeanors in Olmsted County District Court. He was convicted in April of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in Brown County, which is west of Mankato. He was sentenced to 176 days in jail, with credit for 117 days served, ordered to register as a predatory offender and to pay more than $14,000 in restitution.
In June, he violated the terms of probation in that case and was sentenced to an additional 60 days in jail.
Still, Gillmore's friends said he was quick to volunteer to help friends who needed it, whether it was checking on how they were doing, helping to haul something or babysitting. They said he loved playing sports, particularly basketball.
Karen Edmonds, who knew Gillmore from her work with Project Legacy, said, "He had a wonderful sense of humor, but he had a path he was having trouble leaving."
He was going back and forth between a life on the streets and trying to get off the street. But it's so hard to get off the street, she said.
An impromptu memorial was set up Monday at the site of the shooting. A steady stream of people have visited it in the subsequent days, leaving photographs, candles and other memorabilia.
Biri Medorino's front lawn was essentially the scene of the shooting, as the men were using her basketball hoop when gunfire erupted. She was away on vacation and arrived home the evening of the shooting.
"I feel scared because my children play (directly) outside," Medorino said. "My children have had really bad dreams (about the shooting)."
Paris High and one of her sons left flowers at the memorial site Wednesday afternoon. High was hauling a new fence and gate when she dropped off the flowers. She said she bought the fence explicitly because the shooting made her afraid someone might run into her backyard, and she wanted to do something to make herself feel safer.
Amanda Mickelson, whose front door faces the crime scene, was home at the time of the shooting. She said it sounded like fireworks going off, but she knew immediately it was gunfire when she walked out and saw Gillmore lying in the street.
"It's nerve-wracking. This is my home. I feel really bad for (the victim's) family," Mickelson said. "People need to focus on taking care of each other instead of fighting over stupid stuff."
In the last few weeks, Gillmore had told friends that he wanted to enroll in classes at Rochester Community and Technical College. He reportedly said he wanted to use education to "turn his life around." He had not yet signed up before his death, according to RCTC records.
High said Gillmore was a friend of her older son, and he was a "quiet, smiley and cheerful person."
"I"m still in shock," she said. "I think that if he had lived, he would have been a positive influence. I can't imagine him any other way."