A St. Paul man has been sentenced to more than 13 years for aiming his gun at one man during daylight in downtown Minneapolis but wounding a bystander near a busy intersection instead.
The bloodshed last summer came amid a spate of gun-related violence downtown that hit targets intended and not so intended.
Delorien Chatman, 29, was sentenced last week in Hennepin County District Court to 13⅓ years after pleading guilty to first- and second-degree assault and illegally possessing a gun. With credit for time served, Chatman will serve about 8½ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
“Mr. Chatman recklessly shot his gun in a crowded area of downtown and hit an innocent man,” County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “Thanks to the lifesaving efforts by the medical team at Hennepin County Medical Center, the victim is alive today. ... We hope that Mr. Chatman will turn his life around, but if not, society will be protected from him for a good long while.”
Other shootings last spring and summer downtown included two people shot in a parking lot in the 400 block of Hennepin Avenue, a patron being shot while waiting outside a pizza restaurant, and a man eating on a patio outside a bar was hit by stray gunfire.
Police responded to a shooting at 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue early in the evening on Aug. 22 and found the victim with a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Others nearby said two men had gotten into a fight and Chatman was knocked to the ground. He pulled out a gun, stood up, fired a shot that hit the victim and then ran away.
Recent Chicago transplant Zack Stranz, in the vicinity with his parents who were visiting from small-town Illinois, told the Star Tribune soon after the gunfire that he saw two men walking together and then exchanging punches.
One of the men fled and “turned the corner,” Stranz said. “That’s when the other guy shot, [missed his intended target] and struck a guy sitting on the ground smoking a cigarette.”