Family, friends of 20-year-old gunned down in Maplewood plead for the public’s help

Family, friends of 20-year-old gunned down in Maplewood plead for the public’s help

Every day since Devinn Madley’s Aug. 28 death, his mother has gone to the place where the 20-year-old was fatally shot while walking home from a neighborhood store in Maplewood. She sits at a memorial that sprung up at the scene of the unsolved homicide to honor her son and take comfort from being with others who knew him.

Devinn Madley

“I have to be here every day,” Abbey Madley said Tuesday morning at the memorial, which has grown to include dozens of pictures of her son, notes to him, balloons and glass jar candles that spell his name — all of which are protected under two shade tents, at Larpenteur Avenue and Howard Street. “There’s usually somebody else up here, too.”

Police investigators say that despite actively following up on several leads, no one has been arrested in connection with the homicide — Maplewood’s lone this year — and that they have yet to determine a motive.

Devinn Madley’s family and friends and police investigators gathered at the memorial Tuesday for a news conference to bring added attention to his killing and also announce that a $7,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible.

Maplewood police Lt. Joe Steiner said investigators believe three people were directly involved in Madley’s murder; however, they have not identified the suspects. He said investigators have reviewed video surveillance from businesses and homes.

“Hopefully, the reward is enough to get someone that’s been hesitant to come forward to push them over that line and help out,” Steiner said, adding that the reward money is a mix of funds raised through a GoFundMe page and from the police department. “As you can see behind me, Devinn has a lot of family and friends, and there’s a lot of support out there for this investigation.”

Madley’s father, Theryl Dugas, called his son’s death “senseless” and “a parent’s worst nightmare.”

“And I need answers. I want answers,” Dugas said. “He was a good kid, never got into trouble. He worked. He played video games. He paid bills. He was just getting into his way of life as a young man. And somebody knows something out here. And I’m begging and I’m pleading right now. I need answers.”

SEEKING A MOTIVE

Around 8:45 p.m. Aug. 28, Maplewood and St. Paul police both received reports of a man lying in the street at East Larpenteur Avenue and North Howard Street, a residential and commercial area just west of McKnight Road. They found Madley suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was a deadly night in both cities. Madley’s killing happened within hours of two other fatal shootings in neighboring St. Paul.

Steiner said Tuesday that investigators have not been able to link Madley’s death to other homicides.

Steiner, when asked if Madley was found with his personal belongings, like a cellphone or wallet, said he could not disclose those details of the case.

“We’re still trying to determine the motive for the shooting at this time,” he said.

Despite police not having established motive, Madley’s family has their own thoughts on his slaying.

“It’s not drug-related, it’s not gang-related. It’s just senseless,” Dugas said. “At the end of the day, the world has to know he was a good kid. It’s difficult. It pains my heart. Not just for me, but for other parents who are going through the same thing. These are trying times, not in just in this community, but in St. Paul and Minneapolis. It hurts my heart.”

REMEMBERING DEVINN

Madley’s family said he had been at a friend’s birthday party at Texas Roadhouse in Woodbury earlier in the night and took a Lyft ride home. He then walked the four blocks to a tobacco shop.

Madley’s cousin, Azaraia Hollenbeck, said that he sent her a video showing his food and him “making a funny face.”

His younger sister, Ionna Swift, said she misses his “goofiness.”

“He’s just really cheesy,” said Swift, who turned 19 years old the day after he died.

Madley lived in Maplewood for 11 years, attending North St. Paul High School and then East View Academy, an alternative school in Little Canada. For the past two years, he worked with his mother at FedEx Ground in Mahtomedi. He recently got his driver’s permit, and got a tattoo of his grandmother’s birth year when she died.

Madley’s older brother, DeAnthony Taylor-Dugas, who put the ink on his arm, said Madley stayed to himself.

“I just feel like this was dirty people hatin’ on him,” Taylor-Dugas, 32, of Apple Valley, said. “It’s an ugly world out here, but God don’t like ugly. I’m just hoping that he gets his justice. Right now, nobody is really at ease, especially the family.”

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Madley’s family and friends will gather in the parking lot of Aldrich Arena, just up from where he was killed, and release sky lanterns in his memory.

Anyone with information about Madley’s death is asked to call Maplewood police at 651-249-2608.

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