Teen shot twice in the chest in north Minneapolis

  • Article by: HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 7, 2011 - 9:17 PM

Shooters and victim, who was critically hurt, were riding bicycles in Minneapolis.

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A Minneapolis police officer looked over the scene where a bicyclist was shot on the 2100 block of Dupont Avenue N.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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A teenager was critically wounded Sunday afternoon when he was shot twice in the chest while riding a bike in north Minneapolis, according to police and witnesses.

In what could be described as a ride-by shooting, the 17-year-old was shot by a group of teenagers, also on bicycles, who used their bikes to speed away from the scene, police and residents said.

"I heard the shots and saw the flashes out of the corner of my eye," said Stephanie Zins, who was in a home just a few yards from where the shooting took place. "Then I saw a group of kids riding away, looking back" at the victim.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he was listed in critical condition Sunday night. While police early on described his wounds as life-threatening, police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty later said the teen was "expected to survive."

McCarty said no motive had been established, adding, "Everything is still under investigation." But he and officers at the scene said the shooting did not appear to be random.

"There are a number of kids who walk or ride their bikes through north Minneapolis who do not get shot," McCarty said.

No one had been arrested as of Sunday night, police said.

Witnesses said the victim was one of a number of young males whom they described as teenagers riding bicycles on Dupont Avenue N. about 3:30 p.m., just before the shooting.

McCarty said it was unclear how the victim and the shooters ended up together, whether they were riding together or converged on the location.

The victim was shot while in the 2100 block of Dupont and made it about a block and a half north before he collapsed.

Left in his wake in the middle of the street was a small orange bike he had been riding. A blood trail ran from a telephone pole where he'd tried to hide to the corner where he collapsed and apparently dropped his cap on the sidewalk.

Sylvester Davis, who was in his home nearby when the shooting happened, said he didn't hear any arguments beforehand. "I just heard the shots," he said. "I seen the kids riding away."

Several others heard gunshots, most commonly described as four in number, then saw four to five teenagers on bikes furiously pedaling south on Dupont Avenue N.

"I think they are the ones who shot the kid on the bike," Zins said.

McCarty said the fact that the suspected shooters were on bikes while firing shots and during their getaway was unusual, but not unheard of. Another shooting in north Minneapolis last week featured a similar scenario, McCarty said. "It does happen," he said.

The shooting, which took place a block or so north of West Broadway, left residents and visitors on Dupont Avenue N. badly shaken.

One elderly resident, who was on her porch, told police she witnessed the teenager getting shot twice in the chest.

"I saw them shooting four shots -- POP, POP, POP, POP," said the resident, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. "It happened so fast that you don't realize you could have been killed yourself."

Heron Marquez • 952-707-9994

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