Police say a long-simmering feud between two men is to blame for a fatal shooting at a busy south Minneapolis intersection last week.
Authorities on Monday charged Elana Donowit, 29, of Minneapolis, with second-degree murder in connection with the death of 44-year-old John Lacy. Police say she was the getaway driver for another man, who is suspected of shooting Lacy. It wasn’t immediately clear why he hasn’t been charged.
The attack happened around 7:15 a.m. Friday at the corner of Chicago and Franklin avenues.
A witness reported seeing a suspect in a blue hooded sweatshirt and black pants fleeing the scene after the shooting, whom police later identified as a 32-year-old man with whom Lacy had been feuding for at least a year. Surveillance video captured most of the encounter, in which the suspect is seen pulling a gun and shooting Lacy in the back of the head, police said.
Moments before the slaying, the suspect is seen getting out of a green 1995 Subaru Legacy and walking north through Peavey Park, police said. After shooting Lacy, the suspect fled the scene in the same car, said police, who believe that Donowit was driving.
A passerby, and then paramedics, tried to revive Lacy, who was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives tracked down Donowit, the car’s registered owner, and obtained a warrant to search her house, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Hennepin County District court. Inside, they found a blue hoodie like the one the alleged gunman was seen wearing in surveillance footage, and some .38 caliber ammunition, the complaint said.
Since the other man is only considered a suspect and hasn’t been formally charged with Lacy’s murder, the Star Tribune isn’t naming him.
Police said that Lacy and his alleged shooter had been involved in a violent argument at the same intersection three days before his death.
In that episode, the suspect is accused of chasing Lacy around a nearby corner store with two large knives, stabbing him several times, according to police. The man was charged with second-degree assault in connection with that attack.
During the earlier incident, Lacy grabbed a folding chair from another business and swung it at the other man, injuring him, police said.
Because of a mix-up, the incident was downgraded to a disorderly conduct charge. Two days later, Lacy was gunned down.