The 17-year-old accused of seriously wounding a fellow Brooklyn Center shopper with several rounds from a handgun in a daylight dispute over newly released Air Jordan shoes is now being charged as an adult.
Gary L. Townsend, of Minneapolis, is charged in Hennepin County District Court with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault, the same counts spelled out in a juvenile petition filed in mid-March. A conviction just on the most serious charge could mean a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Shortly before 10 a.m. on March 6, a Sunday, gunfire was exchanged outside the Kids Foot Locker store on Shingle Creek Parkway, where people were waiting outside in line for the new Air Jordans going on sale. Officers were already there because of the large crowd that had gathered waiting to get inside.
Witnesses said that just before the shooting began, two groups of males began arguing about some people butting in to the front of the line, the criminal complaint against Townsend read.
Townsend argued with another male and shot him, a witness told police. The victim survived being shot twice in the liver, and once each in a kidney and an arm.
The witness told authorities he responded with gunfire of his own and wounded Townsend in the leg. The witness had with him his state permit to carry a firearm, turned over his gun to police at the scene while kneeling next to the victim and was not charged.
Daniel James Hart, 17, who was with Townsend at the store, grabbed his wounded friend and helped him to a car and flee the scene, the charging document read.
The person Townsend allegedly shot told police that he believed Townsend and others were at the store to rob people of newly purchased Air Jordan shoes.
"I'll kill you!" the victim quoted Townsend as saying while pulling the trigger several times.
Thanks to identifying information from witnesses, Townsend and Hart were both arrested and the weapon recovered.
Hart, of Minneapolis, has a hearing scheduled for May 12, when a judge will consider whether to also move his case from juvenile to adult court.