Police continued their investigation Saturday into Friday night’s shooting near the Little Earth housing complex, where an altercation erupted into violence that left two wounded.
Officers were called to the scene in the 2600 block of Cedar Avenue about 7 p.m. Friday and found two people with gunshot wounds. The victims were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. One had significant injuries, while the other was treated for noncritical wounds, police said.
It was the latest violence to strike Little Earth, a patch of three-story townhouses in south Minneapolis that is the heart of the Twin Cities’ American Indian community. At least eight people have been struck by gunfire near the housing complex this month alone.
On May 2, two suspects opened fire on a group of people hanging out in a parking lot. By the time the shooting stopped, six people ages 14 to 46 had been hit.
Police say the suspects in that shooting fled across Cedar Avenue, disappearing into one of the complex’s townhouses.
Detectives followed a trail of bloody footprints to the home, where they learned a 14-year-old suspect lived with his parents. Inside, they found an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle stashed in an upstairs bedroom closet, a 20-gauge Winchester shotgun, and multiple rounds of ammunition, a detective wrote in court documents. A search of the other suspect’s apartment turned up two handguns and more ammunition, the detective said.
Witnesses and video indicated that the main shooters were the 14-year-old and Rico King, 21, both Little Earth residents, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Authorities subsequently charged King with second-degree assault and second-degree riot, and Georgina Kellum, 35, of Crystal, was charged with aiding an offender after the fact. The 14-year-old was arrested; the county attorney’s office said his case is nonpublic because of his age.
In April, 19-year-old Alexander LaGarde was shot dead while visiting friends in the complex. Residents who attended a small community rally shortly after LaGarde’s death wondered then why Little Earth didn’t seem to register in the mounting outrage over gun violence.
Little Earth residents say shootings have picked up there in recent years, fueled by the exploding opioid epidemic and warring gangs.
A one-block street abutting the housing complex has had more shootings in the past 25 years than any other in the city, Minneapolis police crime analysts say. It was part of the nearly 8 percent of city blocks that together accounted for 64 percent of gun violence from 1990 to 2015.