Suspect Arrested In Murder Of 14-Year-OId Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl At Woodbury Graduation Party

30September 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 23-year-old man is in custody months after the shooting at a Woodbury graduation party that killed 14-year-old Demaris Hobbs-Ekdahl.

Detectives tracked the suspect down to a home in St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood Thursday evening, according to Woodbury police. He is in the Washington County Jail, and is expected to face a second-degree murder charge and a count of aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. WCCO typically doesn’t identify suspects until they’ve been formally charged.

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Hobbs-Ekdahl died on June 5 after a shooting on the 6100 block of Edgewood Avenue. Investigators say Hobbs-Ekdahl was at the party when a fight broke out between two groups. He left, but then returned to the scene with 35-year-old Keith Dawson, his stepfather.

Demaris Ekdahl (credit: Katie Ekdahl)

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Dawson told investigators Hobbs-Ekdahl told him about the fight, and he then met up with his stepson and some of his friends and drove in separate vehicles back to the scene. As they pulled up to the home on Edgewood Avenue, Dawson shot at one of the groups involved in the fight, later telling police he just wanted to scare them.

Someone in that group returned fire, striking Hobbs-Ekdahl, who was in a vehicle following Dawson. Hobbs-Ekdahl was brought to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he was pronounced dead.

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Dawson was charged two days after his stepson’s death with drive-by shooting, illegal possession of a firearm and two counts of assault.

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