A Watertown faces a murder charge after a traffic incident in St. Paul that left one man dead.
According to the St. Paul Police Department, 24-year-old Anthony J. Trifiletti was arrested on May 4 in connection with the death of 39-year-old Douglas C. Lewis of St. Paul.
According to published reports, the incident stemmed from a fender-bender on the Burns Ave. exit off of Hwy. 61 in St. Paul. Reports indicate that Trifiletti’s vehicle was bumped from behind by Lewis’ vehicle. Both men exited their vehicles, and following a confrontation, both vehicles left. Shortly after, the pair confronted each other again, and Trifiletti allegedly retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and opened fire on Lewis. Trifiletti then allegedly fled the scene as bystanders tried to administer first aid to Lewis.
Lewis later died during surgery at Regions Hospital, according to reports.
Trifiletti – who later turned himself in – told police he thought Lewis was armed and that he feared for his life. Lewis was found to be unarmed by police at the scene.
Trifiletti does have a valid permit to carry a weapon, according to records.
A search of the Minnesota Judicial Branch database shoes Trifiletti has been convicted of string of minor traffic offenses, including an underage consumption conviction from 2013 and a 4th degree DWI conviction from December 2019.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, more than 300,000 state residents have legal permits to carry handguns. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that law enforcement officials maintain that a small fraction of permit holders are charged with criminal offenses each year – including 600 permit holders who faced DWI charges in 2019.
A court date has not yet been set.