Teen shot to death in north Minneapolis identified; no arrests made

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 4, 2014 - 11:19 AM

Nehemiah Steverson died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen; no arrests have been made, police said.

Nehemiah Steverson, 17, was fatally shot June 1, 2014, in north Minneapolis.

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The teenager shot and found dead on a patch of grass in north Minneapolis over the weekend has been identified, and police say the shooter remains at large.

Nehemiah Steverson, 17, was shot Sunday in the 1600 block of Newton Avenue N., the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said. Authorities said he died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Officers called to the scene about 2 a.m. found the wounded teen in a grassy boulevard in front of a home. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died about 11 a.m. Sunday.

Chuck Johnson, 18, said he and Steverson had been friends for about six years and would meet up at church on the North Side.

“I saw him last week,” said Johnson, who was unaware of trouble brewing in life lately for the Edison High School student. “He was chillin’, smiling and everything.”

A statement posted Monday on the Edison website said the Edison family “lost one of our own.” It said Steverson was a junior.

“We ask that everyone stay focused on supporting his friends and classmates as we enter into our last week of school,” the statement read.

Officers canvassed the neighborhood and interviewed several people, but police have not made any arrests.

In a statement, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges offered her condolences to Steverson’s family, friends and acquaintances. “As a community we are once again diminished by the senseless death of one of our own,” she said, adding that she is working with police to find those responsible for his death.

Steverson was one of two teenagers shot Sunday morning in north Minneapolis: a 17-year-old girl was shot at 10:50 a.m. as she walked along Dowling Avenue N. with an 18-year-old man. A police account of the shooting said the two were walking west on Dowling near Bryant Avenue N. when a car pulled up alongside them. Someone in the car shot at them before the car sped off. The girl was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with a single gunshot wound. She’s expected to live.

Derek Winston, who lives near where Steverson died, said he heard a single shot and “screaming, screaming.”

Winston, 44, said he went to see what happened and saw the lifeless teen.

Born and raised on the North Side, Winston said he’s been using his background as a boxer in an effort to steer youngsters out of trouble. “I go up and down the streets with my boxing gear and offer free lessons,” he said. “Some go back to the streets. I can’t do it all myself.”

Winston said part of his motivation is concern that “one day it could be my own kids.” As a kid himself, Winston recalled, “I could sleep with my doors open. Now I’m scared, and I’m a tough guy. Every three days, I’m hearing shooting.”

Staff writer Matt McKinney contributed to this report.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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