ST. PAUL (AP) -- Police arrested three young men who admitted killing a 17-year-old bicyclist in a drive-by shooting because they were looking for somebody to kill.
''There was no real motive to this crime -- motivated by their own evil, I guess you would say,'' St. Paul Police Sgt. Joe Younghans said Tuesday. ''There was no robbery motive or anything like that.''
Police say the 18-year-old and two 19-year-olds from Woodbury had driven around St. Paul and Minneapolis on April 26, casing several locations and even practicing going up to people with a loaded gun, before they happened upon Tony Basta at about 10 p.m. and shot him once in the back.
Basta was riding his bike in the designated bike lane along Mississippi River Boulevard, just blocks from his home in a neighborhood considered to be very safe.
Witnesses said a light-colored car pulled up slowly and someone fired a single gunshot at Basta. He died shortly afterward at Regions Hospital.
Police said the suspects drove to the St. Paul suburb of Roseville after shooting Basta, intending to kill again, but instead came back and watched police process the crime scene.
Tuesday's arrests came after a pivotal tip last week from someone who said one of the suspects was bragging at a party about the killing. Two of the men were arrested in St. Paul, the third in Woodbury.
The suspects, who were all friends, were arrested on suspicion of homicide between noon and 1 p.m. Tuesday and gave statements to police. Vomastek said police found the car and 9mm gun used in the shooting, as well as two shell casings.
The suspects have no gang affiliation and told police they weren't using drugs or alcohol before the killing, Vomastek said. They showed some remorse, he said.
Charges were expected to be filed today or Thursday.
Basta, an 11th-grader, was studying media arts at the elite Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley.
His father, Jim Basta, said Tuesday night that he was relieved by the arrests but also angry.
''Anger that it was just random,'' he said. ''I'm pretty much empty as far as feelings at this point.''
Mark Ginther, Tony's cousin, said finding the suspects was another step that will allow the family to move along in the grieving process. He has been amazed by the support from the community.
''We're all very relieved,'' he said. ''Now we can focus on positive energy and keep Tony's memory alive.''
Police told Ginther that the suspects told investigators that they had showed up at a memorial service for Tony.
''These are pretty sick individuals who will never realize what they've done to a good family,'' he said. ''I don't know how they could live with themselves.''
ST. PAUL (AP) -- President Clinton will visit Minnesota on Friday to promote what he believes are the benefits to farmers of normalized trade with China, according to a White House spokeswoman.
Last Thursday, he visited City Academy, a charter school in St. Paul, as part of a two-day tour to highlight the administration's education proposals.
The White House announced earlier this month that Clinton will give the commencement address June 10 at Carleton College in Northfield.
Details of Friday's visit have not been released, but officials in U.S. Rep. David Minge's office said Clinton would likely visit a farm in the southern region of the state.
Press secretary Jason Kelly said Minge got a warm reception earlier this week when he approached the White House with the idea for the visit.
''The president indicated he wanted to visit a farm in Minnesota to talk about the importance of trade to the farm economy,'' Kelly said. ''Given the strength of agriculture in the economy, it would provide a good backdrop for that kind of discussion.''
Minge will accompany the president, Kelly said. Details of the president's visit, including the exact site, were expected to be released Wednesday.
While Clinton was at first supposed to visit a farm near New Ulm, Kelly said Tuesday evening that the White House had determined Scott County would be better because it's closer to the Twin Cities.
''It's definite that Clinton will not be arriving in New Ulm,'' Kelly said. ''With arranging helicopters and landing sites and schedule matters, it was determined that Scott County would be the best location.''
Gov. Jesse Ventura spent Tuesday with Clinton in Washington, helping the president drum up support for permanent normal trade relations with China.
Ventura hadn't planned to join the president Friday because he will be at Crane Lake for the fishing opener.
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