By the light of day Saturday, police continued combing for clues in three separate homicide investigations stemming from a rash of weekend gunfire that marked one of the deadliest days of the year in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Two men were killed and three were wounded in separate shootings in Minneapolis late Friday. Those shootings came just hours after a man was found dead in the street in St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood.
Authorities have not released the victims’ names, and no arrests had been reported by Saturday night.
Minneapolis officers were called to the 2000 block of Washington Avenue N. just before midnight Friday on a report of shots fired. They found a man dead on the sidewalk outside Cliff-n-Norm’s Bar and another man in the area with a gunshot wound. He was taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.
Later, police were notified that another man and a woman with gunshot wounds had sought treatment at area hospitals. The man went to North Memorial, while the woman went to the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. Both are expected to survive.
According to emergency dispatch audio, an off-duty officer reported hearing at least 20 shots before cars peeled away from the scene.
On Saturday, red and black balloons hung above a makeshift memorial in the alley behind the bar. A line of votive candles flickered on the curb.
Earlier Friday evening, a man was killed behind a restaurant in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Officers responded to the 1800 block of Riverside Avenue at 7:20 p.m., where they found a man dead inside a car in the parking lot near the Hard Times Cafe.
“We know that there were people out here who saw things. We implore them to come forward and share that information with us,” said Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder. “Help us help you.”
The victim, described as a man in his 20s or early 30s, did not appear to be a University of Minnesota student, said those at the scene, although the shooting occurred close to campus.
Mohamud Noor, executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, visited the scene in the heart of Minneapolis’ Somali-American community, trying to comfort people who were watching the investigation unfold, some of whom were distraught and expressing their anger at police and journalists at the scene.
He decried yet another young person’s death at the hands of gun violence.
“It’s a moment for us to come together and solve some of the conflict that exists,” Noor said. “The safety of our students and community is something we all share a collective responsibility for.”
Meanwhile, St. Paul police continued to investigate Friday morning’s fatal shooting. The victim was found lying in the street about 9:10 a.m. on Avon Street near Carroll Avenue.
Sgt. Mike Ernster, a police spokesman, said he died at the scene of an apparent gunshot wound.
The shooting marked St. Paul’s 12th homicide this year.