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St. Paul grandmother found shot dead in backyard of East Side home

St. Paul police are investigating after a 61-year-old grandmother was found shot dead in the backyard of an East Side home Wednesday night.

Officers were called to the 1100 block of Bush Avenue around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday after a woman dialed 911 to say her mother had been shot in the head.

“Caller found her mother, thinks she is dead,” an emergency dispatcher relayed to officers on radio traffic. “Unknown where the suspect is.”

Responding officers found the older woman unresponsive in the backyard. She could not be revived.

Police later identified her as Teresa A. Bearribs, formerly known as Teresa Janis. Relatives said her adult daughter lives in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood home, where Bearribs was staying to help out with her grandchildren, ages 3, 4 and 5. The children were at the home at the time of the shooting, family said, but it’s unclear what they may have seen or heard. Bearribs is originally from South Dakota.

“She was just an innocent victim,” said her son, Tim Bearribs, who believes the slaying was gang-related. “Our lives are forever changed today.”

Her family set up a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses. “She was friendly to all people,” the posting said. “She will be dearly missed.”

Bearribs’ death marked the 21st homicide of the year in the capital city — and the second this week.

No arrests have been made in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 651-266-5650.

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