Teen Receives 30½-Year Prison Term for Mall of America Murder

St. Paul, Minnesota – A teenager involved in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Johntae Raymon Hudson at the Mall of America in 2022 has been sentenced to 30½ years in prison, mirroring the same sentence given to his accomplice the previous month. LaVon Sema-J Longstreet and TaeShawn Adams-Wright were held accountable for stalking and killing Hudson, who was shot eight times in the back while surrounded by holiday shoppers at Nordstrom’s on December 23, 2022.

Longstreet, who was initially charged in juvenile court at the age of 17 and later transferred to adult court, pleaded guilty on May 31. Adams-Wright, 19, received the same sentence of 30½ years in prison, both handed down by Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty emphasized that these lengthy prison sentences reflect the severity of their actions and serve to protect public safety.

Authorities revealed that the shooting at the mall stemmed from an argument, leading to Adams-Wright, Longstreet, and three other individuals chasing Hudson and his friends on the first floor of the department store. As a fight ensued, Hudson was knocked into store displays, and in the midst of chaos, both Longstreet and Adams-Wright fired their semiautomatic handguns equipped with extended magazines.

Despite the efforts of witnesses, mall security, and medics, Hudson was pronounced dead at the scene. Following the shooting, Adams-Wright, Longstreet, and their companions went to Longstreet’s aunt’s house, where they boasted about their involvement in the killing on Snapchat. Adams-Wright was promptly arrested by Bloomington police within 12 hours, while Longstreet evaded authorities by fleeing to Decatur, Georgia, where he was ultimately apprehended almost a month later by U.S. marshals.

Reflecting on the impact of the shooting, the vice president of security at the Mall of America acknowledged the profound repercussions it had on the community and the mall’s reputation. The incident resulted in an hour-long lockdown during the busy holiday shopping season, instilling fear among patrons and requiring increased security measures to reassure visitors of their safety.

Since the shooting, the mall has faced challenges in combating the negative public perception of its safety, affecting not only the mall’s operations but also the surrounding community. This tragic event marks the first fatal shooting at the Mall of America, opening in 1992, and underscores the need for continued vigilance in maintaining public safety.