Huddled under umbrellas on a rainy, gray Saturday, Rosie Bardney moaned with grief and hugged her tearful young children yards away from where their father was shot and killed four days earlier.
“He was good. He had changed and wanted to change,” she said before breaking down in sobs.
At a vigil organized by MAD DADS, about 20 people gathered outside the Bardney home to support the family of Tommy Bardney and plead for peace in the community.
Rain-soaked paper signs with a photo of a smiling Tommy Bardney holding his GED diploma were pinned to trees. And a box was passed around to collect cash so his wife and children could travel to Mississippi for his funeral.
Bardney, 34, wanted a fresh start when he returned to Minneapolis from Mississippi just a few weeks ago to be with his wife and seven kids — ages 4 to 18. But Tuesday, as he and his wife talked in a van outside their home on the corner of 11th and Humboldt Avenues N., a white SUV with tinted windows pulled up and fired one shot at him.
“This don’t happen in Edina; this don’t happen in Richfield. It don’t make no sense,” said Danny Berhane of Minneapolis MAD DADS. “Unless we come together and help each other, it won’t end.”
“We want to stop this madness,” said Don Samuels, a Minneapolis City Council member.
While speakers at the vigil condemned the violence and other shooting deaths that came before Bardney’s, others conveyed optimism that the North Side is changing and becoming safer.
Bardney, who had convictions for burglary and domestic assault, was in and out of state prisons from 2008 to early 2012. But, his wife said, he was putting his life together.
No matter what, the Rev. Harding Smith said, the violence has to stop. He urged parents to talk to their children about resolving conflicts peacefully.
“We have a problem today in our community,” he said. “We can’t arrest our way out of this problem.”
No arrests have been made in Bardney’s death, and the case remains under investigation.
Anyone with information should call Minneapolis police at 612-692-8477. To donate to the family, call Minneapolis MAD DADS at 612-455-4630.