A Brooklyn Center man has admitted to indiscriminately shooting into a crowd outside a north Minneapolis bar and killing a man.
Anthony E. Cannady, 48, of Brooklyn Center, pleaded guilty Monday in Hennepin County District Court to one count of second-degree murder and three counts of second-degree assault in connection with the shooting of Steven L. Fields, 42, on Sept. 7 in the parking lot of Cliff and Norm's bar in the 2000 block of N. Washington Avenue.
The plea deal between prosecutors and the defense calls for Cannady to be sentenced to a term of 11⅔ years. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Cannady will serve about 7⅓ years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for July 10.
Fields' father said that his son was outside smoking a cigarette when the gunfire erupted. His death came on a weekend when 10 people were shot in the city, four of them fatally.
State court records show that Cannady has a violent past dating back more than 20 years, with four convictions for fifth-degree assault, two for disorderly conduct and one each for illegal gun possession and domestic assault.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, whose office handled the prosecution for Hennepin County because of a conflict of interest concern, said his office opted for the plea agreement rather than a trial for several reasons including that "witnesses were either uncooperative or didn't see anything."
Orput said that when Cannady arrived at the bar, "he was confronted by members of an outlaw motorcycle gang. One of whom drew a pistol when Cannady approached. Then a gun battle ensued. By the time the cops showed up, the gang had absconded."
Also, he added, "no bullets were recovered, so it was difficult to determine whose bullets shot whom. We determined that Cannady shot Mr. Fields due to where he was standing vs. other parties."
Earlier in the evening, Cannady fought with another bar patron. A bouncer broke up the scuffle and targeted Cannady with pepper spray. Cannady threatened the bouncer as he left the bar.
Cannady returned with a gun about 11:45 p.m. and fired shots into a crowd in the parking lot. Fields was shot in the head, and three others were also wounded. The bouncer was not shot.
For days afterward, Cannady told numerous people that he was the killer outside the bar.