Demaris Nathan Hobbs-Ekdahl died after he was shot while leaving a graduation party in Woodbury, Minn., on Saturday, according to his family

By Gabrielle Chung
June 07, 2021 07:07 PM
Demaris Nathan Hobbs-Ekdahl
Demaris Nathan Hobbs-Ekdahl
| Credit: GoFundMe

A family in Minnesota is mourning what police say is the "tragic loss" of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot after attending a graduation party.

The incident occurred on Saturday around 10:44 p.m. when Washington County dispatchers received multiple 911 calls with people screaming in the background, including one with "discernible information that someone had been shot," according to a statement from the Woodbury Police Department.

Officers were called to a residential neighborhood in Woodbury, where they found 30 to 40 people in the area with what appeared to be a graduation party at a nearby home.

Upon investigating the scene, police learned that one male victim had been transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

The victim was later identified as Demaris Nathan Hobbs-Ekdahl, whose family told KARE that the teen had succumbed to his injuries after he was shot while leaving the graduation party with his 16-year-old brother Davion.

Demaris' father was the one who drove him to the hospital, according to the family.

"I don't know what to do. I lost my baby," Demnaris' mother, Trisha Ekdahl, told the news station.

According to Ekdahl, Demaris was attending the graduation party when the suspects threatened Davion with a gun. She said Demaris called her wanting to leave.

"He was leaving the scene and they shot the car up and he told his older brother, 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe,' " Ekdahl she said. 

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In a statement, Woodbury police called Demnaris' death a "tragic loss" and "our hearts go out to his family."

Police said witnesses at the scene told officers that a white SUV was involved in the shooting and fled the area. Investigators believe a dark SUV or truck is also involved in the incident.

Several houses were struck by gunfire, though the residents inside were unharmed, according to authorities.

"We believe that the shooters knew each other and that this was not a random act," Woodbury police said in a new release on Saturday.

An investigation including the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is ongoing.

In the wake of Demaris' death, his family has set up a GoFundMe campaign for funeral expenses. As of Monday afternoon, it has raised over $12,900 dollars out of its $20,000 goal.