A 30-year-old Minneapolis man was shot to death inside his North Side home sometime before midnight Thursday, and Friday's search for his killer or killers ended with no arrests, police said.
The man, identified by relatives and friends as Travis Washington, was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound in a home on the 3500 block of Knox Avenue N., near Folwell Park, according to authorities.
No arrests have been reported in his death, the city's 11th slaying of the year. Detectives are seeking two suspects seen fleeing the scene shortly after witnesses reported hearing "muffled gunshots" coming from the house. The shooting occurred about 11:13 p.m. Thursday.
Witnesses told police that they saw two men leaving the house, with one reportedly instructing the other to walk more slowly so as not to draw attention to themselves, according to scanner traffic.
Washington was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities did not release a possible motive for the crime.
Those who knew Washington described him as a homebody and dedicated family man who steered clear of drama.
"He was a very caring, very loyal person," said Jerry Hildreth, who grew up playing basketball with Washington at the North Side Boys & Girls Club. "Ain't nobody perfect, but I just can't see him doing something to somebody that would get him killed."
Washington, he said, was a tough-as-nails street ballplayer who fashioned his game after his hero on the court, Allen Iverson. And while he never suited up for the basketball team at North High School, the players there "respected him," Hildreth said.
Another longtime friend who asked to be identified only by her first name, Elisha, for safety reasons, recalled Washington as a "sweetheart."
"I can't see how or why anyone would have reason to take his life. He was a very good friend, great father, brother, uncle," she wrote in a Facebook message.
News of Washington's death prompted an outpouring of grief among his friends and relatives, who remembered him as a loving family man who left several young children.
Several online commenters pointed out that it was the second tragedy to hit the family, which traces its roots to Mississippi, in recent months. Washington was the younger brother of Kirk Washington Jr., a popular activist and poet whose work explored themes of racism, housing inequities, police brutality and politics.
Kirk Washington, 41, was killed on April 4 when his Volvo station wagon was struck by a car that crossed the median on Interstate 94 near Hwy. 280.
On Friday, city and community leaders decried Travis Washington's killing, which comes amid a surge of violence that has seen the number of people shot in north Minneapolis more than double compared with last year.
At a Minneapolis City Council meeting, Council President Barb Johnson addressed the killing and other shootings that occurred on Thursday night, while Mayor Betsy Hodges vowed that police would increase patrols in high-crime areas.
"Last night, another act of gun violence took a life in North Minneapolis," Hodges wrote in a Facebook post. "The neighborhood and our city are mourning the loss of this life. Once again, my heart goes out to the family."