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Superior man pleads guilty in Hermantown drive-by shooting

Denzel Sheldon Perrin1 / 2
Robert John Lund2 / 2

One of two men accused of a drive-by shooting that left one person injured in Hermantown in September has admitted to his role in the crime.

Denzel Sheldon Perrin, 20, of Superior, pleaded guilty Tuesday in State District Court in Duluth to three felony counts of drive-by shooting.

Authorities said Perrin admitted that he and 47-year-old Robert John Lund fired a handgun into a group of four people standing outside a residence on Oak Ridge Drive on Sept. 24. Police said the incident was precipitated by a confrontation at "the Wall" area along Skyline Parkway earlier that night and an ongoing social media feud.

One victim, Trenton William Sampson, 20, of Superior, was struck by a bullet in the lower leg and treated at a local hospital. Police said he was not an intended target of the shooting.

Under a plea agreement between Perrin and the St. Louis County Attorney's Office, prosecutors dismissed four counts of attempted second-degree murder and one additional count of drive-by shooting.

It is anticipated that Perrin will receive a 7½-year prison term when sentenced by 6th Judicial District Judge Sally Tarnowski on Feb. 13.

Lund still faces nine felony charges: four counts of attempted second-degree murder, four counts of drive-by shooting and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Lund this week withdrew a speedy trial demand and is due back in court on Feb. 9. He remains in the St. Louis County Jail, with bail set at $250,000.

According to court documents:

Perrin admitted that he and Lund traveled to the Hermantown residence and fired a number of shots from a handgun into a group of four people, including two juveniles.

One of the juveniles, a 17-year-old girl, told police that she had been hanging out with friends that night along Skyline near 40th Avenue West in Duluth when they came across several acquaintances, including Perrin, whom she described as sharing "bad blood" with another member of her group.

She told police that a silver car had followed her home, then reappeared about 45 minutes later with a dark-colored SUV and several gunshots were fired from the SUV.

Perrin told police that he had followed the girl to the Oak Ridge Drive address earlier that evening before returning to West Duluth. He said he went to Lund's residence on North 58th Avenue West, and that they "loaded up defendant Lund's Chevy Suburban with baseball bats," and returned to the Hermantown address to engage in a fight.

When they arrived, Perrin told police, Lund suddenly produced a handgun and fired several shots out the passenger window. Perrin stated that he then took the weapon and also fired about five shots.

Police said Sampson's car and the residence were also struck by the volley of shots. Investigators reported that the locations of the bullet impacts indicate that the firearm was "aimed high directly at the area" where the four victims were standing.

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