Authorities have identified the victim in Wednesday’s brazen daytime shooting on the North Side as a 25-year-old Minneapolis man.
Derrick Elijah Rodgers died of multiple gunshot wounds during an exchange of gunfire at Oliver Avenue N. and Olson Highway Service Road, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner. Officers were called to the scene at 3:28 p.m., where they found his body lying in the street.
Rodgers appeared to have been shot while riding in a red sports car and then again as he tried to flee on foot. Investigators scoured the car for bullet holes, which was abandoned on the 700 block of Penn Avenue N., a block west of where Rodgers died.
Relatives and friends gathered around the crime scene openly grieving for Rodgers, whose nickname was Lil’ Dee.
Detectives are looking at the possibility that Wednesday’s incident was in retaliation for another shooting last week in which someone sprayed a group of people with bullets near Newton and 16th avenues N., killing one and wounding seven. That episode, authorities suspect, was tied to a gang war dating to last spring between the North Side’s “High-End” and “Low-End” factions — the “Highs,” made up of street gangs like Young N’ Thuggin’, Loud Pack and Taliban, hold territory in the northern half of north Minneapolis, while the “Lows,” which include the Stick Up Boys, Skitz Squad, Hitsquad and Valley Boys, have laid claim to the southern half.