Authorities on Thursday identified the man who was fatally shot in the head in a downtown Minneapolis apartment frequented by homeless people.
Gerald Buffett, 34, with no permanent address, was shot Dec. 13 in a unit in the 1400 block of Portland Avenue S., according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.
Buffett was one of several people in the apartment when he was shot by Darryll L. Wilkes, 26, after an argument. He died at Hennepin County Medical Center a few days later, according to second-degree murder charges filed this week.
A witness to the shooting told police that he and other homeless people were staying in the apartment while the renter was incarcerated.
Kizito Majali said Thursday night that he and Buffett knew each other in Nigeria, and they moved to the United States as teens a few months apart, “chasing the American dream and really not knowing anyone.”
Majali, who lives in Chicago, as had Buffett before settling in the Twin Cities, said his friend was “the most loyal person I know, very family oriented. ... He was extremely smart and charismatic.”
However, “he fell on hard times” that left him homeless, the friend continued, and he did some jail time and “never really recovered.”
Wilkes stepped over a wounded Buffett and fled the scene with his brother, 28-year-old James W. Wilkes, according to prosecutors. James Wilkes is charged with aiding an offender after the fact.
The suspects, both from Minneapolis, remain jailed ahead of court appearances scheduled for next month. Both brothers have lengthy criminal histories in Minnesota. Darryll Wilkes has convictions for first-degree robbery, theft, domestic assault and other crimes. James Wilkes has been convicted of first- and second-degree robbery, theft and fifth-degree assault.