BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (FOX 9) - A 22-year-old man faces murder charges for allegedly ordering two teenagers to break into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and kill her current boyfriend, as well as her if she got in the way, according to authorities.
Erick Dewaun Haynes, of Brooklyn Park, is charged with second-degree murder with intent (not pre-meditated) and second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony for the killing of 23-year-old Zaria Rashun McKeever on November 8.
"We believe Haynes directed the juveniles to kill the boyfriend and if the victim got in the way to kill her too," Brooklyn Park Police Department spokesperson Elliot Faust told FOX 9.
The charging documents state the two teens kicked in the apartment door on the 6300 block of Zane Avenue North early Tuesday morning. McKeever's current boyfriend, who was upstairs at the time, told police he heard the door being kicked in and McKeever arguing with someone. He said he got nervous, so he jumped out of the second-story bedroom window and ran to get help.
When police arrived, they found McKeever on the ground with a gunshot wound to her lower abdomen. Officers attempted life-saving measures, but she was pronounced dead.
The charging documents state there were multiple bullet holes throughout the apartment, near the bedroom and bathroom. There was also damage to the frame of the door, indicating a forced entry.
Faust told FOX 9 the 15-year-old is the suspected gunman. The teen fired the gun several times in the apartment and also managed to hit the 17-year-old. Surveillance footage from the apartment shows two people leaving the apartment shortly after the shooting – one of them was limping, while the other was trying to help.
During an interview with investigators, Haynes allegedly told police he had been upset that his relationship with McKeever had ended, and she had a new boyfriend. He allegedly told investigators he knew the teens were planning to kick in the apartment door and confront the couple inside while he waited in the car, according to the complaint.
Haynes allegedly added he bought the gun the teen had used and gave it to him that night. The Hennepin County K9 unit found the weapon hidden in the wheel well of a Dodge Charger. Forensic testing on the gun showed it matched the casings located in McKeever’s apartment, the complaint states.
Brooklyn Park Police told FOX 9 Haynes and McKeever shared a child, and the two had a recent misunderstanding that started a strife in the relationship.
"After the relationship ended, Haynes began to show concerning behavior such as following, stalking, and threatening McKeever," said police in a media release Thursday.
McKeever's current boyfriend told police that in recent weeks, Haynes had been threatening and harassing her via phone, text and in person. McKeever allegedly told her boyfriend on Monday around 3 or 4 p.m. Haynes had followed her in a car, according to the complaint
Haynes was convicted twice for violating domestic abuse protection orders in October 2019 and December 2019, according to court documents.
Haynes is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the murder charges Monday afternoon.
Faust told FOX 9 the two teens have been charged with second-degree murder, and the process to certify them as adults is being considered.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
About 1 in 5 homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by an intimate partner, and over half of the female homicide victims are killed by a current or former male intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2021, at least six bystanders and 20 women in Minnesota died from intimate partner violence, according to Violence Free Minnesota.