Investigation of latest Mpls. homicide continues

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2011 - 8:39 PM

Police doubt the shooting of a 21-year-old woman was a random crime, but Near North neighbors remain vigilant.

A police investigation continued Monday into the shooting death of Brianna Jones, 21, whose body was found Thursday in her home in Minneapolis' Near North neighborhood.

She had been shot in the head, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner. A police spokesman said Monday that police don't believe that the crime was random or that the general public faces any threat.

A man told police that he entered Jones' residence and called 911 upon finding her dead, according to police spokesman Sgt. Steve McCarty.

The exact address of the homicide has not been released as the investigation continues, other than that it occurred in the 1500 block of Emerson Av. N.

An early media report that the woman was found outside the house was not correct, police said.

The block where Jones lived is one of several that make up the Old Highland area, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, now known for the historical preservation of 100-year-old Victorian homes. The neighborhood's work to preserve and restore the homes has brought attention to the area, and neighbors meet up regularly, most recently for a holiday progressive dinner this month, said resident Tracy Loso.

"People know each other, and we're very connected," she said.

Loso sent a message out to others in the neighborhood after the shooting; it said she had spoken to police, who asked that neighbors be on the lookout for anything suspicious as the investigation continues.

Jones' death was the 35th homicide of the year in Minneapolis, a decrease from last year's total of 39. It was the third homicide this year for the Near North neighborhood and the 10th for all of north Minneapolis.

Despite its reputation as the most dangerous part of the city, north Minneapolis has had fewer homicides this year than south Minneapolis, which has seen 15 so far.

Violent crime, a category that includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and domestic aggravated assault, has dropped about 5 percent in Minneapolis from last year, police statistics show.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

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