A 23-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty this week to his role in a 2014 shooting outside a downtown hospital, a brazen assault that was in retaliation for an earlier confrontation with rival gang members.
Percy Lacey pleaded guilty in a Hennepin County courtroom on Tuesday to second-degree assault and attempted murder for the benefit of a gang in connection with the shooting outside Hennepin County Medical Center, County Attorney Mike Freeman said. Lacey is considered a high-ranking member of the 10z, a Crips-affiliated gang that has been locked in a long-running feud with two other south Minneapolis street crews, the Bloods and the Bogus Boys, according to authorities.
Lacey, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to federal drug and weapons charges, is expected to be sentenced to nearly 19 years in prison in the state case. This will run concurrent to the nearly 12-year sentence for his federal conviction.
“Justice was done. Sadly, more are stepping up to take their place, so our work is not finished,” Freeman said Friday in a statement.
Authorities said the shooting was the result of heightened tensions between the 10z and the Bloods two summers ago.
“Sometimes, it’s over turf or over drugs or over women, but most recently it’s been over disrespect,” Freeman later told reporters.
On Aug. 26, 2014, a group of Bloods members gathered at HCMC after two of their associates were wounded in a drive-by shooting earlier that day in the Bryant neighborhood, a shooting in which 10z member Vysean Johnson was reportedly involved. After one of their members spotted Lacey at the nearby county Government Center, a group of Bloods chased him around the building’s main level, authorities said.
A short time later, Lacey instructed another 10z member to lure members of the Bloods outside the hospital, while Lacey sprayed rounds from a vehicle parked across the street. No one was injured, but the bullets shattered the emergency room doors, sending staff and patients ducking for cover. Police found a pile of 23 shell casings 100 feet from the hospital entrance.
A joint investigation by Minneapolis police and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force led to the indictment on conspiracy charges of seven members of the 10z and their close allies, the 20z. Lacey was among the last defendants to plead guilty in that case, which authorities say dealt a serious blow to the gang’s operations in the area.
Johnson, who pleaded guilty last month to two counts of attempted murder in connection with both shootings that day, is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 8. Johnson was wounded in a shooting at the Moto Mart gas station the following month, which left him paralyzed from the waist down and with limited use of his arms.
Authorities said much of the gang violence in south Minneapolis, as in other parts of the city, is fanned by social media. “In the past, people would have physically had to come upon one another,” said Cmdr. Erick Fors, head of the department’s violent crimes investigations division.
Authorities also charged five Bloods members with the confrontation that preceded the hospital shooting. Four pleaded guilty in the case; a judge threw out the charges against the remaining defendant.