Pot deal gone wrong leads to St. Paul's first homicide of year

CoppageSeals.jpg
Devonte photo from Facebook via The Adventures of Johnny Northside blog
Antonio Seals (right) has been charged in connection with the murder of Devonte Coppage (left).
Last Friday, 22-year-old north Minneapolis resident Devonte Coppage became St. Paul's first homicide victim of 2014.

SEE ALSO: St. Paul pot dealer shot by customer upset about the "bad weed" he'd sold him

According to authorities, Coppage was shot to death around 6:30 p.m. during a pot deal gone awry in the parking lot of a BP station at 1200 White Bear Avenue.

Coppage's brother accompanied him on the trip to buy marijuana, but only Coppage entered a car to complete the transaction. Shortly after he got in the vehicle, Coppage's brother heard a series of gunshots, and when he approached the car to see what was going on he saw that his brother had been hit. Devonte was pronounced dead at the scene from his injures.

The murder suspect, 18-year-old St. Paul resident Antonio Seals, was tracked down by officers at Regions Hospital and arrested with a bullet in his arm. Questioned by police, Seals confessed to shooting Coppage, but said Coppage shot him first. Investigators later determined, however, that the .38-caliber bullet lodged in Seals's arm likely came from the same handgun used to shoot Coppage multiple times.

Though it's unclear exactly what happened in the car during the moments before shots rang out, it sounds as though Seals may have opened fire because he mistakenly thought Coppage, who was unarmed at the time, shot him. The Pioneer Press, citing the criminal complaint, explains:
Antonio Seals told a homicide investigator that [another man he was with at Regions] drove him to the station and he'd planned to sell a "zip of weed" to Coppage for $300, but that the others in the car didn't know he had a gun, the complaint said.

Coppage put his hand in his jacket and acted as if he was going to pull money out, Seals told the investigator. "At the same time Coppage opened the door and 'he just shot me,' " Seals said. "Seals said Coppage hopped out of the car and he shot Coppage."

The investigator said of Coppage, "He didn't pull out a gun."

Seals said, "So why would he run out of the car?" and requested a lawyer, the complaint said.
Seals has been charged with second-degree unintentional homicide. As this is written nobody else has been charged in connection with the incident.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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83 comments
CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

ha ha, ghetto rats killing each other - time to celebrate!

nisahstar
nisahstar

SMH at some of these comments. Just because one smokes weed or buys weed doesn't mean that they are a thug. How dare some of you judge someone who lost their life trying to buy some weed.... If it were Legal there wouldn't be so many pointless senseless ass deaths 

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I love how you can never ask a white man to put his privilege away, it never works, but the only people who talk about a "race card" are white folks.

springroll
springroll

I just read about an unsolved murder that took place in Minn a few weeks ago.  The victims name is Geray. What the heck is going on there?  Where are all of the guns coming from?  I thought Minn was a low crime state.  My relatives are always trying to get me to move there.  Think I'll pass.. I'll just visit.

Don Eaton
Don Eaton

If it were legal this kind of stuff wouldn't happen anymore, not right away but in time.

Mo Bluntz
Mo Bluntz

This would have never happened if cannabis were legal.

Marcos Maiero
Marcos Maiero

Really, really interesting point. I never really thought of it that way... makes you wonder.

Jesse Etzler
Jesse Etzler

That's why it should be legal. What a pointless death

Allen Luciow
Allen Luciow

If your broke and hungry or as they say desperate you can do some crazy shit. If u have never been there count your blessings. I remember when a friend of mine got robbed for 20 worth and got shot in the head lucky guy it bounced off his head

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

This has less to do with pot being illegal and more to do with stupid thug kids. I used to be a pot head and knew guys that were dealing in much much larger amounts and they didn't carry guns or have any of this stupid stuff happen. If these kids didn't shoot each other over pot it would be something else, it's a flaw in their culture.

Matthew Anderson
Matthew Anderson

Jamie, "givin an education instead of a gun?" They WERE given an education. They chose streets and guns. Stop blaming the system

Christopher Larson
Christopher Larson

If marijuana were to become decriminalized and made available in legal dispensaries (ie: CA, CO, etc etc) then the likelihood of articles such as this one would be few and far between. So perhaps instead of bashing each other with your comments here, you can write your state representatives and push for the decriminalization/legalization for marijuana.

Troy Schmidt
Troy Schmidt

Legalize it and there will still be a black market for those under the legal age. Face it...bad people do bad things. Always have, always will.

kingmj03
kingmj03

Another life saved if weed was legalized!! Can't believe he lost his life over$300 worth. I know doctors who smoke weed. . don't have to be a thug. Smh@ignorant white ppl

Jaime Raduns
Jaime Raduns

Nobody would have died if stupid kids would have been givin an education insread of a gun and the streets!

Iesha Coleman
Iesha Coleman

I guess you have to be a thug to smoke weed now?

Iesha Coleman
Iesha Coleman

If you read the report only one person had a gun. The guy that got shot, shot himself.

Iesha Coleman
Iesha Coleman

That was the rudest thing I've ever heard!! How about nobody should ever have to die for any reason unless its natural cause.

Tim Williams
Tim Williams

Put the race card away..What else ya got?

Teaj Fiyah Fox
Teaj Fiyah Fox

Unintentional Homicide? It sounds pretty intentional.

ThatGuyMJ_
ThatGuyMJ_

@Tay_Fourte Lol and I seen that nigga at the barber like 2 weeks ago . Selling zips and shit ..

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@nisahstar You're right, just because one smokes or buys weed doesn't mean they are a thug. But it also doesn't mean they're not - lots of thugs smoke weed and these two look like thugs. The fact that one or both were carrying guns puts a even more weight on the thug theory. Yes - legalize and tax and get the money out of these POS's hands.

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

Are you serious?  you have to be serious stupid.

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

You have to be seriously stupid.  Criminal acitivty will always dominate areas for making money.  Legalizing drugs will not stop criminals making money.  If that was the case, legalize all drugs and what the cartels go away... I think not. 

Your rationale is like legalizing murder, if it isn't illegal, then the crime goes away and people will not get murdered.....  Stupid!

TruDat
TruDat

B as in B, S as in S, it's not a pot thing, it's a cultural thing.

Millions of people buy, sell and smoke weed every day without shooting anyone. But, of course it should be legal.

french4fri
french4fri

It doesnt matter what the fuck they were, NOBODY deserves to be killed over $300! He has family and friends including myself that cared about him, and a baby at that! "LOL ?" nothing about this is funny, keep your negative comments to yourself!

cluckey07
cluckey07

They are from Minnesota. They were given an education. This isn't the south we are talking about. 

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

Because he was a filthy stupid thug... we should be laughing at the stupidty of this.

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

Tell the ghetto gang bangers that, and life will surely be a better place.

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

No, they put themselves in that situation themselves.  how about they actually contribute something positive to their black community

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

@ThatGuyMJ_ @Tay_Fourte - ha ha - got what he deserves, that nigga and his family are all filthy chicken shit!

CaptainAmerica
CaptainAmerica

@MNjoe - correct, it just means that you support a long line of criminal activity that involved, violence, murder, thuggery etc.  For those who are buying illegal merchanidise.  I hope you can deal with the effects of your habit and what it inflicts on others... Stand up be a man, accept it.

TruDat
TruDat

@WhiteMatt @springroll

Minnesota has a new law stating that you can't check a job applicant's criminal record until you have them come in for an interview. So, these upstanding citizens could have gotten jobs instead of choosing a life of petty crime. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@CaptainAmerica @MNjoe Well, asshole - consider that it's legal in 2 states already and several more are likely to follow this fall. Pot laws will soon be sweeping the country like gay marriage. Like alcohol prohibition, making something illegal that the public clearly wants, creates an underground market which can lead to violence in some cases. Read your American History about Prohibition and maybe start with Al Capone and work from there. Be a man - stand up and accept your ignorance - and try to do something about it. 

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