At an evening vigil Monday near the spot along Washington Avenue N. where his sister was shot and killed, Kenny Rajvong tried to put into words his feelings.
“I just miss her,” he said.
His sister, Arnong, 26, was one of six people shot to death in a spate of gunfire across Minneapolis in the past four weeks. Overall, 21 people have been killed in Minneapolis so far in 2013, compared with 15 this time last year, but about the same as the 10-year average for the city.
Police said many of the recent shootings have involved some kind of domestic tie, with family members or people acquainted with one another turning to violence. The number of weapons seized off the street is up this year, with police reporting 357 guns seized so far, compared to 332 last year.
A drive-by shooter fired at Arnong as she sat in a car July 13, shortly after she left a club in downtown Minneapolis. Her brother said he was told by someone who had been in the same vehicle that Arnong had left the bar with her friends rather than with a man who had picked her up to go out that evening. A vehicle carrying at least two men sped up to Rajvong’s vehicle before one of them fired, striking her in the head.
Fourth Precinct Inspector Michael Kjos said Monday investigators have good leads on the case.
Cyndi Barrington, police spokeswoman, said recent homicides have not occurred in the “hot spot” zones — areas that have proactive enforcement, community outreach and the North Side beat with cops out of cars.
“The recent homicides appear to be domestic in nature,” she said, adding that they involve individuals and not larger groups. “People are settling disputes with guns and in most cases, these incidents can’t be predicted or prevented.”
V.J. Smith, the president of MAD DADS and the person who organized Monday’s vigil, said someone out there has to know what happened in the Rajvong shooting. “We’re asking you to get the word out. We need to know who did this,” he told the crowd that had gathered in a parking lot near the intersection of 26th and Washington Avenues N.
In other recent shootings, DeShaun Guilmant, 23, of St. Cloud, was shot several times in the chest shortly after 6 p.m. Friday along 36th Avenue N. between Dupont and Emerson Avenues N. He had been shot at close range inside a car.
Robert Johnson, 35, of St. Paul was shot in the chest and abdomen on July 14 at 3410 Fremont Av. N.
Francisco Benitez Hernandez, 38, was shot July 8 at 3629 Columbus Av. S. He was one of three men in a back yard when Ryan Grant, 22, and Diamond Lee Jamal Griffin, 24, walked into the yard and demanded money, according to criminal charges. Told that there was nothing to steal, the men began firing, shooting Hernandez to death and injuring one other.