The 21-year-old men were at Two Stooges bar in Fridley before the attack early Saturday.
Two men were repeatedly stabbed after leaving a bar in Fridley and remained hospitalized in critical condition Saturday night.
The men, both 21, were at Two Stooges Sports Bar & Grill when two women asked them for a ride about 2 a.m., according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
The victims — Anthony M. McCollum of Hilltop and Yani R. Singh of Columbia Heights — agreed to give the women a ride to an apartment complex not far away, near University Avenue NE. and NE. Mississippi Street, he said.
It’s unclear where the four were for more than two hours between bar closing and arriving in that area, Sommer said.
At 4:20 a.m., the 21-year-old driver called police from near 77th Avenue NE. and Main Street, saying he and his friend had just been attacked by two strangers and that they managed to flee.
“They were going to drive to Unity Hospital, but in their panic, or if they were unfamiliar with the area, they couldn’t find it,” Sommer said.
“So they were calling 911 on their cellphone, and they decided to just stop and wait at 77th and Main Street.”
Fridley police found the driver critically wounded and barely conscious; he could give only a few details before passing out. His passenger was unconscious.
Anoka County authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying the two women or any witnesses or accomplices.
Investigators were still trying to confirm Saturday the exact address of where the stabbings took place, somewhere west of University Avenue near Mississippi Street, Sommer said.
They have a “pretty good idea of where it happened,” but there’s a big complex of apartment and townhouses there, he said.
Authorities are asking that the two women come forward and help with the investigation. Detectives also urged anyone who may have seen the four leave the bar, the attack or anything else suspicious to call the Sheriff’s Office at 763-427-1212.
Sheriff’s investigators and Fridley police also are seeking surveillance video and images from the area. Sommer said the surveillance camera from Two Stooges wasn’t working properly.
He said the authorities do not know if the women were involved in the crime. It also wasn’t clear if the men were attacked in a parking lot or in their vehicle.
“It’s all speculation at this point because only one of the victims was able to speak to us, and only for a very short period of time,” Sommer said.
‘Beautiful human beings’
The victims’ families told police that the two victims were not the type to close down a bar, Sommer said.
“They’re beautiful human beings with wonderful hearts,” said Kelly Singh, Yani’s sister. “They didn’t do anything wrong. They were set up. They did not deserve this, and whoever did this needs to be caught.”
She said her brother was engaged and that both he and McCollum are hard workers who serve their communities. She declined to comment further from a bedside vigil at the hospital.
“I’m just speechless,” Rachel Cox, a shift supervisor at Two Stooges, said Saturday. “I don’t know why people would do these things.”
She didn’t know if the women had been asking others for a ride before the two victims agreed to help out, but she hoped to find out, Cox said.
“If they’re the ones willing to be nice and give these ladies a ride, and then something like this happens, it makes people not want to do anything nice for anybody anymore, because you never know what will happen,” she said.
Joy Powell • 612-673-7750