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On Tuesday, St. Paul police were in pursuit of a car thief when he crashed his car and took off on foot. Cops then heard the sound of gunfire and found the thief lying wounded in Vincent Trotter’s yard.

As the Pioneer Press reports,

Police discovered a man with gunshot injuries in a yard on Cook Avenue, off Payne Avenue — about two blocks from the crash. He was identified as the driver of the stolen car, Jalik Combs.

Trotter told police that he owned the home and gave them his gun. Combs was apparently not armed.

Oh, and there’s this:

A sign in the front window of Trotter’s residence says, “Warning” and “No trespassing.” It goes on state, “Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!”

The car thief’s mother was interviewed.

(Artesa) Wheatley said she talked to her son by phone and he told her the man asked him, “Did you see the sign that said ‘No trespassing’?” and told him to get away from his house.

Combs told Trotter he was leaving and started to, but he was shot, according to Wheatley. …

Combs was treated at Regions Hospital before being booked into the Ramsey County jail Tuesday on suspicion of auto theft. He was shot in the buttocks, forearm and legs, according to his mother, Artesa Wheatley, who lives on the same block and said she doesn’t know Trotter.

Police brought Trotter, the homeowner, in for questioning and eventually charged him with second degree assault with a deadly weapon.

Jalik Combs (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

Trotter had been involved in a shooting in 2013 when he was the victim of an armed robbery. He was not charged in connection with that incident.

Vincent Trotter (Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office)

The sign in Trotter’s window probably didn’t affect the decision to charge him as much as the fact that Combs wasn’t armed. But it couldn’t have helped. And it will no doubt be used against him by prosecutors when he’s tried.



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  1. They say it doesnt pay to advertise your intentions.
    I guess this example is as a good any.

    • When the rights of criminals supersede those of law abiding citizens it becomes a problem for all legal law abiding citizens. Remember that A.C.L.U. really stands for ; American Communist Lawyers Association.

      • the thugs in gov’t. make laws to benefit the thugs on the street, NOT the taxpayers that are FORCED to pay the government’s “public servant’s” salary. We have gone right back to taxation w/o representation, ever since 1865. DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE ! Hand them your ID and say nothing. Make your statement in court, “I was scared, felt threatened”. Leave IT there.

      • Not a law biding citizen, idiot. And only an idiot things that just bc you post a sign that means that is the new law.

  2. “St. Paul Man Who Shot Fleeing Thief is Charged With Assault”

    And rightfully so, and the sign, well, that goes to mindset and intent…

    • Or….it can go to sense of humor. Or….for all you know, it was there when he bought the place and he never got around to taking it down. Or….it was a gag gift from his buddy or in-law or whomever and he posted it just to humor them.

      Let’s leave the amateur lawyering and psychologizing (I know, not real words) to the ones who get paid to do that. True, a jury of his peers may be presented with that evidence to consider. Well, then, let’s leave the mental state determination for their purpose to the people who see the totality of the evidence admitted and have an opportunity to hear both sides’ arguments and explanations, rather than just latch on to a piece of evidence out of context.

      • You must not how intent works…
        Let me give you a quick lesson of intent…you walk into a store with your purse, inside your purse there is nothing, you shoplift, concealing the items in your empty purse, and get stopped on your way out the door(passed the point of payment), well, instead of petty theft, you’re now going to be charged with burglary, because you entered the store with that empty purse you “intended” to shoplift, and therefore elevating the crime from a citable offense, to one that leads you away in handcuffs…

        The sign, humorous or not, goes to show intent, and you can be guaranteed that the DA will make use of it as such…

      • To hell with the lawyers and the shrinks. It’s plain to see that Mr. Trotter has opened a real can of worms here. Did Trotter know that Combs was a thief? Did he know that Combs was fleeing the police? Did the car theft play ANY part in Trotter’s decision to shoot? Is it right to shoot a trespasser? If so, under what conditions? Is it right to shoot an UNARMED trespasser? How about an unarmed trespasser who is fleeing justice? Was Combs known to Trotter? Did they have a history with each other? Does Trotter have a police record? (It would appear that he does not.) We know that Combs has a record.

        It LOOKS LIKE Trotter was in the wrong, but there really aren’t enough details in the story to decide.

        As for leaving it to the lawyers? Never trust a lawyer to do anything more than overcharge you for bad service.

        • Is it right to shoot a trespasser? Right or legal? That depends which state you are in.
          Some states you can shoot a trespasser for nothing more than being on your land, while in other states legal to shoot a trespasser only if they are trying to steal something.
          Most states, if you shoot someone for trespassing you will be charged with murder.

        • Many attorneys are drinking or club buddies so choose yours carefully. I know this from experience!

  3. Assuming it happened as the alleged car thief and trespasser described (said he was leaving, then actually tried to leave), then Trotter is probably going to get convicted. Would be interesting to see if the physical evidence was consistent with the car thief’s story.

    • the fact he shot him in the buttocks is not good, it didn’t say if he had a handgun or shotgun, since it says he was hit 3 times , was that 3 shots or 1?
      That’s why its best to only have 1 witness after a shooting…You, the shooter. ‘knowwhatI’msayin?” Word!

      on top of jail, now this thief will sue him in civil court for his injuries and dude’s house will go to the worthless thief.

      At least until a cop shoots him and it will be ok then.

      • There’s a reason we don’t have horse thieves anymore, but we do have car thieves…horse thieves were hung on the spot.

        • America was a republic back then. Amerika today is socialist & evil. Someone needs to tell Donald Trump.

  4. Not smart in Minnesota, which is pretty much a “duty to retreat” state. Deadly force can be justified inside your home, but there is no protection for outside of your home.

    Now, I personally believe that Mr. Trotter should be entirely justified. But that’s not the reality in Minnesota. One would think that the St. Paul police would have more pressing matters to attend to than to charge a homeowner who shot a trespasser – but I suspect the prosecutor couldn’t pass up the low-hanging fruit (just as soon as he cleared his plate by giving plea deals to or dropping charges against his current slate of gang bangers).

    Also: the sign should not be considered much of anything with respect to this incident, especially considering that the car thief did, in fact, survive – and was not, in fact, shot again.

    • I’m not sure I agree that he should be justified. As far as he knows this is some dude who is running from a jaywalking ticket. Mere trespass outside the home should not be a license to kill.

      • Agreed. Perp could have easily been a undercover cop during a takedown gone sideways.

        Like the cop who pummeled a Ferguson protester who turned out to be a plainclothes cop.

      • I’m not sure I agree that he should be justified. As far as he knows this is some dude who is running from a jaywalking ticket. Mere trespass outside the home should not be a license to kill.

        Perhaps not necessarily justified, but on his own property, he – as all property owners – should enjoy the presumption of justification. The prosecutor should bear the burden to prove that he was not justified.

        • funny, this is being discussed on the anniversary of the Waco Texas church burning where the Amerikan gov’t. (POTUS, Atty. General and FBI) killed 86 citizens. Walked away……those with the gold, make the rules

    • Chip,
      “Minnesota’s stand your ground law does allow homeowners to use force in “resisting a trespass,” but court documents say “it’s clear from the video that (the alleged car thief) was retreating away from Trotter as Trotter fired.””

      I think Trotter may be the type who likes to shoot people.

      • Minnesota does not have a Stand Your Ground law. Castle Doctrine, yes. Stand Your Ground, no. Chip is right…but so are you.

        Based on the news coverage, which may or may not reflect reality, this was a bad shoot and the homeowner should face charges.

    • The use of deadly force pretty much is justified when protecting life when feared threatened so no weapon and threat of death then you don’t shoot.

      • No, but now he’ll get free college in prison, at our expense of 60k/year for 1 inmate.
        maybe we should just buy deviant loser’s who care about no one but themselves a car for 40k, then we’ll come out 100’s of thousands of dollars ahead!!

      • It’s a wonder he didn’t kill him then. If he shot for the head, probably wouldn’t have hurt him. LOL!

  5. This is what our “resident cop” at the LGS told us…use a gun for defense and you get the full ride, regardless. Apparently the cops aren’t committed anti-2A, but the prosecutors are drooling to “make a point”.

  6. I’m not for throwing the book at this guy but at the same time, he screwed the pooch on this one and probably deserves punishment. His actions seem entirely unreasonable and his only justification seems to be that the guy was in his yard.

    Now, that said, we haven’t heard his defense yet. I certainly put zero credibility in what the mother said secondhand from a discussion with her son. Maybe Mr. Trotter will provide evidence that the ‘victim’ was charging at him trying to get in his house?

    • I would also want to know what was exchanged verbally. We have what is almost certainly a truncated version in the story. Did Combs threaten to whip Trotter’s ass? Did Combs make a move that Trotter may have interpreted as a move to whip his ass? Simple verbal assault, combined with a move that looks like an intention to follow up on the verbal assault would justify the shooting.

  7. And I suppose now people will insist the red flag laws were written for men like Trotter. No different than Clint Eastwood trying to keep his Torino from getting stolen. Trotter was wrong, but not insane.

  8. If you think you may shoot a yard trespasser, keep in mind that they may suddenly spin around to run as you aim and you might well shoot them in the back. Better to avoid shooting if possible. Inside your house is a different matter.

    Personally, I would not shoot someone who is stealing crap out of my detached garage. An initial conference with a defense attorney would cost me more than the value all the stuff in my garage.

    • So I assume you leave the overhead door open, lights on, and a flashing neon comeonin sign?

      Way to much beta “thinkin” in this country.

      • “So I assume you leave the overhead door open, lights on, and a flashing neon comeonin sign?”

        If I understand you correctly, refusing to kill over property (mere “a thing”) equates to setting out an invitation to steal your “things”?

        Going with that, do you have a list of property (“things”), worth your life? It is easy behind a keyboard to believe one will prevail in all gunfights over protection of property, but what if you fail? Which pieces of personal property/real estate would cause you to risk losing your life, when alternatives are available?

        • Failure to fend off criminals from stealing your property will be seen by them as an open invitation for repeat visits to you. They may want to take more from you next time around. Robbers tend to rehit the same targets over and over. Probably a combination of laziness and a known weak target that doesn’t fight back.

          • “Failure to fend off criminals from stealing your property will be seen by them as an open invitation for repeat visits to you.”

            Possibly. There are measures that can be taken to discourage that. I can understand a death penalty for someone who steals a horse from a person traversing a desert, but not from someone’s corral. Again, what material “thing” is so valuable that it is worth risking a life for? Or taking a life for? Things are things; disposable, replaceable.

            Note: once an intruder is inside your home while you are present, you protect yourself and your family. If you also end up protecting your “things” at the same time, bonus.

  9. Ummm…all the warning signs may crucify him(sorry for that on Good Friday). It looks quite unhinged and bloodthirsty. And what lunatic shoots someone REPEATEDLY for being in his yard?!?

  10. Rookie Move (And likely his last legal gun owning move as well)

    If he lived in CA the charge would be attempted murder and the would be thief would be measuring the rooms to see where he would be putting all his TV’s and sofa’s.

  11. He was running from the police. I doubt he was unarmed. He ditched the gun in the bushes or when he was driving, How many car thieves point their finger or water bottle at the poor victim? Combs was “apparently unarmed”. Not a fact. I would bet on that.

  12. …It probably would have been worse if he was a misogynistic 40 year old white dude. Who incorrectly uses pronouns and CAN’T conform to proper political culture…

  13. Amazing how so many people seem to want their 2A rights but not property rights. The “I don’t have to respect what you have” crowd, have really F#ck up the society. You have no right to walk into or, on to, someone else’s property. I hope the home owner wins the case.

    A thief who gets shot is his or her cost for doing business. Kentucky has some of the best self defense for private property rights in the nation.

    It seems the other 49 states will allow a criminal to burn down a home as long as he removes the residence unharmed first.

    • Totally agree. Defense of Property should ABSOLUTELY be covered under the self defense laws.

      Outside the “evil 10” states, I dont understand why its NOT covered.

    • But, Combs wasn’t stealing anything from Trotter, so let’s just forget about theft for the moment. Combs was committing a simple trespass against Trotter. No breaking and entering, no articles taken, of any value. You simply don’t shoot a person for cutting across your property. If Combs made any kind of a verbal threat against Trotter, then Trotter may well be justified. He isn’t going to get away with, “Dude was on my property” as a defense.

      • Paul
        You must be one of those members of The Three L’s. Libertarians liberals and the left who totally support the Klu Klux Klan or other individuals burning a cross on the front lawn of private black peoples property.

        If you do your research you will find that the Jewish lawyer lead ACLU totally supported the Klu Klux Klan or individuals violating private property rights to burn a cross on someone’s front lawn.

        And since you brought it up. No they did not steal anything from inside the home. Nor did they steal anything from outside the home. They just left a burning cross.

        As a good white Libertarian, Liberal, or Leftist, you support cross burning on somone else’s private property correct????

        I used to watch white people on CNN in the 1980s and when I was a teenager in the 1970s on TV say this exact same thing.

        • “If you do your research you will find that the Jewish lawyer lead ACLU totally supported the Klu Klux Klan or individuals violating private property rights to burn a cross on someone’s front lawn.”


          If the property is owned by the cross burner, what is the problem?

          If you go to Google Street view, the houses have sidewalks running in front of them. Some of them are fenced in, some aren’t. Did Cross duck down behind a picket fence owned by Trotter?
          Was the person shot doing anything other than walking across or standing and looking behind himself? Was he leaving once told to?

          But even in Kentucky if you shoot someone who walks across your yard, you will be spending time in Eddyville. Hope you enjoy your scenic view of Lake Barkley from the prison yard.

        • Chris Mallory, because you asked.

          Are you one of those F#ck up persons (jewish or christian, gay or straight, white) who supports the right to cross burning on the private property of a black person?
          You don’t have to be a ACLU member. But many are.

          Virginia v. Barry Elton Black, Richard Elliott and Jonathan O’Mara

          “On May 2, 1998, Richard Elliott and Jonathan O’Mara tried to burn a cross in the yard of Elliott’s next-door neighbor, an African-American man who had recently moved to the house with his wife and two sons. Late that night, they drove onto the man’s property, planted a cross, set it on fire and left. The man discovered it next morning, partially burned, about 20 feet from his house”

    • It seems the police shoot unarmed people everyday of the week and trespassing isn’t even an issue. All they have to do is say I thought he was reaching for a gun.

  14. You can’t shoot people who leaving unless they just killed somebody, especially if they are armed. They are still a danger to others. I’m not sure shooting an escaping rapist would be looked upon kindly in this day and age. Do as I do and purchase a copy of your state’s Crime Code and read all relevant portions on firearms, justification, and use of force. It is best to have a hard copy and not rely on reading a screen. Printing those sections will probably cost almost as much as buying a full copy. They also make interesting reading.

    • I just love people who assume that the rules in their state are the same as everybody else’s. In Texas, if you steal something from me worth more than $500, when you turn to leave I can SHOOT YOU IN THE BACK, until you are dead. In other words, you are a moron.

      • “In other words, you are a moron.”

        Did you just run out of Shiner Bock? You channeling Curt LeMay today? That why you are being so crabby?

        @Timothy cautioned that gun owners should not just assume shooting a suspect in the back for good cause meets the elements of the law in every jurisdiction, even to pointing out the wisdom of getting the actual statutes, and keeping up with changes. Which part of that is moronic?

      • I wasn’t aware that there was a value limit on theft, in Texas. I thought theft was theft, in regards to defending your property. So, a guy could steal my $250 chain saw, and I couldn’t shoot, but if he hopped on my $1800 riding mower to make his getaway, I can shoot. Or – I could just say that he was yanking on the pull rope of the chainsaw, and I though he was going to attack me. Texas Chainsaw Massacre nipped in the bud?

        • “And shooting a man in the back means you are a gutless coward.”

          One quick move by an attacker can make you a coward.

  15. Shooting a fleeing trespasser who made no threat against you was a super stupid thing to do. Having that sign on the place was simply the cherry on top for the prosecutor.

  16. “Police brought Trotter, the homeowner, in for questioning and”……..and let me stop you right there. No, seriously, STOP right F’ing there.

    “I INVOKE MY RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT” and you’re done talking and they’re done questioning. Nobody whom the police already suspect of having committed a crime has ever just talked themselves out of being charged. PLENTY of people, whether suspected or not, have talked themselves into a charge, however. (Rhetorical flourish there. Don’t go all google-foo in fact check mode.)

    I don’t take the Mom’s interview comments for anything, but still. If the events reported here are even close to reality, this guy could be doomed. That many shots against an unarmed person doesn’t look good. In the buttocks suggests he was fleeing. Also unfavorable. He was being chased by police, so it is possible there was some king of altercation. Maybe the victim demanded car keys or entrance into the home? Maybe, but it doesn’t look good, from what’s been reported so far.

    • Interesting thing that “questioning” from police. It’s called the Reid Technique and it’s not used for gathering facts and information. Its sole purpose is to elicit a confession. Put that in your juice box and drink it.

    • There’s a number of things a homeowner may not do about a trespasser. Laying in wait, setting traps, trying to entice a transgression, using lethal force when every indication is that no threat exists.

      Or as in this case, his real crime was shooting at a fleeing person who never threatened him in anyway.

  17. I currently live 14 mile from St Paul. Sorry to say, but the
    city is going to hell. High taxes and crime and a collapsing

    Their catch phrases is, ” America’s most livable city.” LOL.

  18. Here we go again. Jalik Combs stole a car, smashed it into non described objects, was fleeing the area
    in question and if you look into it, you will find combs has a criminal record, but that is ok. Trotter is
    the guilty one all around according to the media. Combs needs to be tried for his actions, pay for all
    damages, do his time for stealing a car and Trotter given a verbal reprimand for his action and no more,
    because he was trying to stop a thief. Until we in this country put the thief in his or her correct place and
    support those that try to stop the criminal, we will not see a fall in the crime rate. Regardless of Trotter
    and his action, Combs still stole a car, and punish him for it. But as we see the laws today and the criminal
    gets off so much because of technicalities, Combs will walk free and Trotter will be guilty of everything.

    JD Moore

    • Where is the evidence that Trotter knew Combs was a thief? How did Trotter know that Combs wasn’t an innocent hiding or escaping from a bully? Who but a gutless coward would shoot another man in the back?

  19. I think I’m America we should just give all rights to the criminals. They want to take your wife or daughter? No problem. They want to walk into your house and whip it out, and urinate all? Go for it. It blows my mind some of the comments here condoning the criminal. My only hope is some sort of violent crime comes into their lives. Put that shoe on the other foot. Then the courts can say, innocent and the criminal is on his way. Live the dream for a change. Americans have become passive gutless mouth breathers.

  20. I figured it out!

    Trotter says ”get out of my yard’
    Thief says ok and starts to leave.
    Then his #1 Jam came on the radio and he involuntarily started TWERKIN’
    This is why his buttocks was faced towards Trotter.

    OR, Trotter should just say it was 2 Nigerians with MAGA Hats on and carrying a noose who shot the Thief..

  21. In the “heat of the moment” when a man runs into your yard just how are you expected to “know” that he is unarmed? And if I was Trotter I would say that Combs turned around as I shot, that his back was not turned toward me when I raised the gun. It MIGHT work for Trotter. It wouldn’t work for me because I am a life member of the NRA and should know enough to not close my eyes when shooting. Besides, as a white male I am already guilty – whether the Combs incident did or didn’t happen.

  22. YEAH!
    How did he know the hoodie wearing in summer guy with unkept dreadlocks running and hiding in people’s yards with cop sirens chasing him in the ghetto was a bad guy???

    It could have been Whoopie Goldberg stopping in for a visit.
    It could have been the lawncare guy who forgot his lawnmower, rake and truck.
    It could have been Kriss from the 80’s group, Kriss Kross; searching for a lost lyric notebook from 1983.
    It could have been a college or NFL player doing some off season conditioning. (Trying to think of people who have dreadlocks AND jobs..
    It could have been Jussie Smollett! Running and hiding from those Nigerian Trump Thugs, that he knows and pays…

    • How do I know know the white drunk Italians guy in a suit that crashed into my house, is not with the mafia and is armed and dangerous. Sure, maybe it is just Silvio Berlusconi. Maybe it’s just Keauno Reeves doing another hitman movie. Nope, see a white guy in a suit – you better shoot first, and ask questions latter, fools.F U you racists shits. FYI, him being a bad guy is not cause for shooting. He was leaving dumb-ass.

      Donald Trump is a crook and a bad guy. Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Schillings are really bad guys – more white ahole sin suits. I guess they are fair game to just shoot on site. Certainly, don’t let them thieves get anywhere near you wallet or bank account. FU

  23. They used to have gate signage which read ‘Beware of the dog’ now, with good reason they should have gate, door and fence signage with ‘ Beware of the owner’ written on them. The problem is that it would, in this day and age, have to be written in many languages for the illegals to understand.

    • “The problem is that it would, in this day and age, have to be written in many languages for the illegals to understand.”

      Presuming illegals can read is probably some kind of racist attitude.

  24. It is illegal in some States including my own to shoot a person who is stealing something outside on your property and if he is shot and killed while he is running away from you you can be charged with murder and some people in my State have been charged with murder for doing just exactly that.

    The fellow in the story that advertised he was anxious to shoot someone will probably not have a sympathetic jury when he is tried. Such signs also advertised that you have guns in the house and no one is home all the time and the crooks know it so your house goes on their hit list. Rather than discourage people from breaking in it actually encourages many to do so.

  25. The article said that Trotter shot him in the buttocks. So the perp was running away from Trotter (armed or not may have no significance) If so, Trotter may have had no standing to shoot the man as Trotter’s life was not in danger.

    Normally, if your life is in danger, then SELF DEFENSE is a legitimate action!!

    So it may depend on the legality of whether Trotter has the right to shoot a trespasser just because he was trespassing.

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