Standing in a gas station parking lot where a man was gunned down a day earlier, resident Melvina Rockymore held hands with a group of small children and prayed.
“This is their park time,” she said when the prayer finished. “They are sacrificing their park time to do this.”
Her group of kids ranged from 1-year-old Kennedy to 11-year-old Emmanuel. Twins Tommie and Thomas, both 8, held a sign that said “Stop the Killing.”
A day before at this corner of 26th and Penn Avenues N., someone fatally shot a 41-year-old man after an argument on a Metro Transit bus, police said. The fight spilled out onto the street before erupting in gunfire. Police were called just before 7 p.m. They arrived to find a body in the gas station parking lot.
On Friday, people stopped by to leave cards and gifts at the spot where the man died.
“He was killed here,” said K.G. Wilson, a street activist who stood and prayed with others. “So you know all the kids in the neighborhood knows who he is. Then you look and see his body? Laying there on the ground, ice cold, covered in blood.”
The man’s identity had not yet been released Friday.
Seventeen people have been killed in Minneapolis through July 21. That’s a slightly lower homicide rate than what’s been recorded over the past 10 years, with an average of 43 deaths per year.
Minneapolis police arrested a juvenile Friday morning in connection with the shooting. The details of the case likely won’t be made public until next week, when charges could be filed against the juvenile.
A second shooting about 20 minutes later left one person wounded, but the injuries were not life-threatening, according to a police spokesman. The incidents were not related, police said.
Thursday night’s shootings occurred on the eve of increased police patrols that began Friday. Earlier this week, Minneapolis city officials announced a $300,000 plan to pay overtime for eight police officers and one supervisor to patrol the city’s crime-plagued neighborhoods in north and south Minneapolis. That announcement came after a series of high-profile shootings and homicides in north Minneapolis this month.
Two weeks ago, Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges walked north Minneapolis neighborhoods in a public show of support for residents of the Fourth Precinct after a bloody start to the month, when two people were killed and three wounded in a series of shootings.
Hours after their appearances, three women were shot multiple times in a North Side back yard. They all survived, but the violence added to residents’ frustration with rising crime rates.
Citywide, violent crime has risen 3.4 percent so far this year.