Two men shot and injured at north Minneapolis vigil for murder victim

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2013 - 11:56 PM

Two people were shot Tuesday night during a vigil held for Haywood Eaton who was shot and killed at Bryant and West Broadway in north Minneapolis in 2009. Stephanie Eaton. mother of the shooting victim Haywood, gathered at that location with about 30 friends and family members to remember him on his 22nd birthday when someone drove by in a vehicle and fired shots, hitting two people in the crowd.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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Two men were injured Tuesday night in a drive-by shooting on a busy north Minneapolis street during a memorial for a slain Brooklyn Park man.

The shooting happened a little after 7 p.m. near W. Broadway and Bryant Avenue N., said Sgt. Steve McCarty, a spokesman for Minneapolis police.

The two men who were shot were taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale with noncritical injuries, McCarty said. No arrests have been made.

The men were part of a group of about 30 people who gathered outside on a sidewalk on W. Broadway in memory of Haywood Eaton, who was shot and killed during a fight in the parking lot of the nearby Burger King in September 2009. His mother, Stephanie Eaton, said her son would have been 22 years old Tuesday.

“We’re out here lighting candles and setting up balloons when a little red car came by and started shooting,” she said.

As they drove off, whoever fired the shots didn’t shout anything, Eaton said.

But she did.

“I called them cowards,” Eaton said.

In 2010, Denell Ray Malone Jr., then 18, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for Haywood Eaton’s death. Malone told the judge that during the day of the shooting, he had gotten a call from a friend telling him Eaton, who had shot Malone the year before, was in a fight in the Burger King parking lot. He had ran to the site and shot Eaton four times. He also shot and injured a 15-year-old.

Tuesday’s vigil for Haywood Eaton wasn’t the first that has turned violent.

A year after his death during a memorial and anti-violence rally, in which an estimated 200 people gathered at a shopping center’s parking lot near where he was killed, Eaton’s mother was arrested along with five others, officers were injured and squad cars were damaged.

Less than a couple of hours after the crowd dispersed, police responded to a shooting a few blocks away. Those involved had gone to the vigil.

Stephanie Eaton said she spoke to police this year before staging Tuesday’s vigil.

When police removed the tape put up to block the scene Tuesday, Eaton walked back to her spot and continued the vigil for her son.


Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

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