Charge: After clash on bus, teen fatally shot Mpls. father sticking up for son
- Article by: PAUL WALSH
- Star Tribune
- July 29, 2014 - 9:24 PM
A 16-year-old boy was charged with fatally shooting a Minneapolis father who was scolding the teen on a Metro Transit bus on the North Side for harassing his son, the Hennepin County attorney’s office announced Monday.
Joshua D. Ford, of Minneapolis, was charged Monday with intentional second-degree murder in the death last week of Andrew Billingsley Jr., 38. Ford remains held in the juvenile detention center ahead of an Aug. 8 court appearance.
According to the charge, contained in a juvenile petition:
Witnesses told authorities that Ford and his companions boarded the bus at 26th and Penn Avenues N. just before 7 p.m. Thursday.
Billingsley, already a passenger, walked to the front and argued with Ford and his friends about them harassing his son.
The bus driver said he saw Ford pull a gun from his waistband and order Billingsley off the bus. The driver immediately activated the bus’ silent alarm, which brought police to the location.
Billingsley left the bus through the front door, and Ford went to the back door and started shooting.
Witnesses told police the victim first ran in front of the bus, then toward a gas station at 2606 Penn Av. The teen kept shooting until Billingsley collapsed in the gas station parking lot.
The bus driver dashed out and tried to revive Billingsley, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ford fled before police arrived, but he was arrested the next day.
Six discharged cartridge casings and one fired bullet were found at the scene and much of the incident was captured by the bus’ video cameras.
Billingsley’s death and a nonfatal shooting that evening on the North Side occurred on the eve of increased police patrols. Earlier last week, city officials announced a $300,000 plan to pay overtime for eight police officers and one supervisor to patrol crime-plagued neighborhoods in north and south Minneapolis. That announcement came after a series of high-profile shootings and homicides in north Minneapolis this month.
Three weeks ago, Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges walked north Minneapolis neighborhoods in a public show of support for residents of the North Side after a bloody start to the month, when two people were killed and three wounded in a series of shootings.
Hours after their appearances, three women were shot multiple times in a North Side back yard. They all survived, but the shootings added to residents’ frustration with rising crime rates.
Citywide, violent crime has risen about 3.4 percent so far this year.
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