Two nighttime homicides occurred within 23 hours and eight blocks in north Minneapolis, and police say they have yet to make an arrest in either case.

Initial evidence doesn't indicate that the two weekend deaths are related, "but of course [investigators] will look into that," police Sgt. Stephen McCarty said Monday.

A man found dead about 10 p.m. Sunday was identified Monday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office as Gianni Gossitt, 22. He lived a few blocks from where his body was discovered in the 3900 block of Dupont Avenue N. Authorities said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

The examiner's office identified a man who died Saturday night as Kerry Scott, 41, of Hopkins. He was found unresponsive in an alley behind a home in the 3300 block of Girard Av. N., McCarty said. He appeared to have been beaten to death, the sergeant said.

A sister of Gossitt said her brother "pretty much stayed to himself and had just a small group of friends."

Cheryle Gossitt, one of nine siblings in a family that moved from Chicago nine years ago, said police told her they have no leads yet but believe "someone had dropped him off and killed him somewhere else."

She acknowledged that her brother, a 2009 Minneapolis North High School graduate, had gotten into trouble as a youth but said he was "doing things right for himself" as an adult.

Minnesota court records show that he was convicted of third-degree burglary when he was 17.

Gossitt said she last saw Gianni on Friday and he was his "goofy, normal self. Silly as always. He gave us hugs and kisses and told us when he'd get back."

She added that "I can't even try and imagine someone wanting to do what they did to my big brother," describing him as "a great brother and friend, very kind and loving to everyone he knew, most definitely his family."

Gossitt said her family is looking "for answers to this nightmare" and pleaded for anyone with information to step forward.

Police said that anyone with information about either incident should call the department's tips line at 612-692-8477.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482