The muddy tire tracks tell a tragic tale.

Early Saturday, a motorist frantically reversed his car onto a residential front lawn in south Minneapolis and struck a stair railing while fleeing a flurry of bullets.

The man was shot at least three times before dying at the scene.

“They blocked him in so he had no exit,” said Randy Rapp, of St. Paul, who identified the victim as Monte Whitner, 27.

About two dozen friends grieved on the same block Saturday morning, alleging that Whitner had been ambushed hours earlier.

Officers responded at 2:41 a.m. to a report of shots fired in the area of the 5700 block of 33rd Avenue S., just off Hwy. 62. By the time authorities arrived, Whitner had suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, left arm and head, according to emergency dispatch audio. His gray Dodge Charger was peppered with bullet holes.

Less than 12 hours later, all that remained was the mangled iron railing.

Police said evidence suggests that a handgun was used in the shooting. No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text 847411. All tips are anonymous.