1 man dies after spate of Minneapolis shootings

Five others were hurt late Sunday and early Monday in Minneapolis.

A Burnsville man shot in the head Sunday night in Minneapolis died about 11 hours later, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner's office.

Guled Hashi Mohamed, 26, of 12521 Portland Av., died at 10:30 a.m. Monday in Hennepin County Medical Center, where he had been taken after he was shot at 11:22 p.m. Sunday while sitting in a car outside a restaurant at Nicollet and Groveland Avenues S.

His shooting was one of six in Minneapolis late Sunday into Monday, but so far the only fatality.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis police identified the victims of two shootings that occurred near bar closing time early Monday in the Warehouse District.

Cortez A. Johnson, 21, of St. Paul, was shot in the head about 2:15 a.m. at 3rd Street and 1st Avenue N., apparently after an argument. His aunt Kathleen Howell said on Tuesday that Johnson had been placed in a medically induced coma and was in critical condition in Hennepin County Medical Center.

Johnson was at Karma nightclub before he was shot, she said. The club at 315 1st Av. N. is one of the downtown clubs that admits anyone 18 or older on Sundays -- what has become the most troubled night of the week for the city.

Also shot at the same time and place was Lashun T. Witherspoon Jr., 19, of Elk River, police said. He was hit in the upper body and was treated for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities have yet to identify a third man, a 23-year-old, who was shot in the head about 10 minutes later at 5th Street and 1st Avenue N., again after an argument. He was in stable condition, according to a police report Tuesday.

The Warehouse District shootings were part of a heavy night of gunfire that wounded six men late Sunday and early Monday in the city.

Of the other shootings, two occurred in south Minneapolis, while the third took place at an unknown location.

About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Ronald R. Brooks, 34, of Minneapolis, was shot in the hand by a man who attempted to rob him at 24th Street and Nicollet Avenue S.

The night's sixth victim, Denzel C. Meeks, 18, walked into Hennepin County Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg shortly after the downtown shootings, but left the hospital and had yet to speak with officers, according to a police report Tuesday.

Police believe only two of the shootings -- the two at 3rd Street and 1st Avenue N. -- were connected, a police spokesman has said.

Those victims, Johnson and Witherspoon, both have criminal records that include convictions for fleeing police, state court records show. The same records show Johnson also is currently under court supervision in Hennepin County after pleading guilty to domestic assault and disorderly conduct.

"All kids get in trouble," said Howell, his aunt, who believes Johnson's past had nothing to do with the shooting. "He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Howell said the victim's mother was concerned about Karma and its practices. But for now, Howell said, the family's focus is on Johnson's recovery.

Police have made no arrests in the cases. Police asked that anyone with information call 612-692-TIPS (8477).

Staff writers Matt McKinney, Rochelle Olson and Sarah Lemagie contributed to this report. Anthony Lonetree • 612-673-4109

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