Suspect arrested after south Minneapolis shooting

  • Star Tribune
  • April 20, 2009 - 12:13 AM

Police exchanged gunfire Sunday night with a suspect in south Minneapolis who shot and wounded a man who officers had just finished questioning.

At least three officers from Minneapolis and Metro Transit police fired several times at the suspect, who was arrested after a two-block chase, said Minneapolis police Sgt. William Palmer.

The suspect was not hit and none of the officers was wounded, Palmer said.

The shooting victim, who was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, suffered noncritical injuries.

The drama began as officers with the Metro Gang Strike Force had just finished questioning four men at E. 22nd Street and Chicago Avenue S., Palmer said. The four men were yards away from police officers when the suspect suddenly began shooting at the men from across the street on E. 22nd Street and Elliot Avenue S., near the Village Market Mall.

The officers fired their weapons to protect the wounded man, to whom police had just finished talking, Palmer said.

The officers then chased the man and arrested him a short distance away.

Omar Jamal, a Somali-American community activist, said later Sunday that he and others believe that the Minneapolis shooting is related to a shooting about 2 a.m. Sunday at a White Castle restaurant in Hopkins in which a 24-year-old man was killed.

"I've talked to the police and they say they don't know if it it's connected," Jamal said . "But my feeling is that it is connected because of the timing."

Palmer said he did not have any information to indicate that the Minneapolis and Hopkins shootings are related.

Hopkins police said no arrests have been made in that case, which followed an argument between two groups of men in the parking lot. The name of the Hopkins shooting victim has not been released.

Jamal said Sunday's shootings further raised concerns among Somalis who have been on edge in the wake of several violent incidents involving people from their community.

"Everybody is confused and afraid," he said. "We're concerned that this won't be the last shooting."

Sunday night's shooting left residents in the Minneapolis neighborhood shaken, especially when some of them noticed bullet holes in their homes.

"There were a whole lot of shots," said one resident, who did not give her name out of fear for her safety. "It sounded like Iraq."

One family came home to find about a half-dozen bullet holes in the front of their home, including one in the front door and several near a window.

"There are always shootings here," one of the family members said. "There are a lot of gangs around here, and every year they shoot people."

Heron Marquez Estrada • 612-673-4280

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