2 charged in downtown shooting outside Gay 90s

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET
  • Star Tribune
  • June 27, 2012 - 9:02 PM

Two Twin Cities men were charged Wednesday in a weekend shooting near a downtown Minneapolis club that sent four men to the hospital.

Dontae Andre Dewayne McKinney, 19, of Richfield, and Don Buddie Austin, 20, of Minneapolis, face multiple assault charges.

"If you're dumb enough to start shooting at a bar closing, there's a ton of police there," warned Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at an afternoon press conference.

According to criminal complaints, shots rang out about 2 a.m. Monday near the Gay 90's club on Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street N. where police had shortly before broken up a fight between two groups of people.

Two young men were shot in their upper legs. Another was hit in the shoulder.

Austin was arrested in a nearby alley where police also recovered a loaded .45-caliber handgun.

McKinney fled from mounted police and, as he was being pursued by an officer, he scaled a fence and dropped a handgun, according to complaints. Investigators reported that when McKinney picked up the gun and turned toward the officer, the officer shot him once in the arm. McKinney later said he was present when the fight and gunfire erupted, and had picked up a gun that someone had thrown as he ran from the scene.

In recent months, police and elected officials have tried to calm concerns of growing downtown violence by trumpeting increased police presence during the summer. Violent crime has increased 60 percent downtown so far this year, according to police statistics.

"A lot of us go downtown. ... I don't think [safety is] a problem. I think you need to be careful very late when they're closing, but law enforcement and bar owners and people have done a lot of very significant work trying to make this safer," Freeman said.

McKinney was charged with first-degree assault for his alleged confrontation with the officer, two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree assault and one count of aiding and abetting second-degree assault.

Austin was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree assault, one count of aiding and abetting second-degree assault and prohibited possession of a firearm.

In 2007, Austin was found delinquent on a felony charge of car theft, therefore prohibiting him from carrying a gun. Austin also was on parole for fleeing an officer resulting in a death and criminal vehicular operation.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter: @stribnorfleet#

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