At least 11 people were injured from gunshot wounds, three of them critically, after a violent weekend in Minneapolis.
The men and women wounded in seven separate shootings spanning less than 30 hours between midnight Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday are the latest victims of gun violence in one of the city's deadliest years in a generation.
At a news conference Sunday, Minneapolis police spokesman Officer Garrett Parten said the rising crime is concerning but can't be addressed by police alone.
"Seven incidents, 11 people shot — that's unacceptable. And it's not normal. We don't see that every weekend," Parten said. "What we're facing is not going to be solved just by police presence. We need the community's help ... Stand up and say no to the kind of violence that we're seeing in our city."
The uptick in violent crime has troubled some parts of Minneapolis in particular, such as the Phillips neighborhood, where two men were shot at 3 a.m. Sunday. Parten said two vehicles crashed in the 2400 block of 10th Avenue South and gunshots were heard in the area. Officers located a man at the scene with a noncritical gunshot wound and moments later another man with a noncritical gunshot wound checked in at Hennepin Healthcare.
About an hour earlier in downtown Minneapolis, a woman and two men were shot in the area near First Avenue. All three were taken to the hospital, where one man was in critical condition. Police later arrested two men in their early 20s. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they've been formally charged.
In Uptown shortly before midnight, police were called to the 1400 block of West Lake Street where a man and woman were injured following reports of multiple gunshots. Police say their injuries are not life-threatening.
Around 9:20 p.m. Minneapolis police responded to the sound of gunfire in Gold Medal Park. A man who was the victim of an armed carjacking was taken to Hennepin Healthcare in critical condition. Around 6:40 p.m., a woman was critically wounded by gunfire in north Minneapolis' Hawthorne neighborhood. She arrived at North Memorial Health Hospital ten minutes after a ShotSpotter activation in the 2300 block of North Bryant Avenue where officers located evidence of gunfire.
On early Saturday morning shortly before 1 a.m., a man with a noncritical gunshot wound checked in at a hospital after he told police he was robbed at gunpoint. "The victim fought back and was then shot," Parten said in a news release Sunday, adding that the location of the shooting is unknown.
Forty minutes later, another man checked into the hospital with noncritical gunshot wounds following a ShotSpotter activation in the 2900 block of 27th Avenue South.
There have been 71 homicides so far in Minneapolis in 2021, compared to 60 at this time last year, and the city is on track this year to surpass 2020s record-high 9,600 gunfire reports. Parten said any of the shootings over the weekend could have been deadly. He did not provide further details on the three victims in critical condition.
Minneapolis police, which Parten said is short staffed and many officers are working overtime on top of 10-hour shifts, is still on pace of recovering as nearly guns from the streets that were recovered last year, although gun recoveries are down 3.3% this year over last. He said 721 guns were recovered as of early September, compared to 746 at the same time last year.
"I resent any notion that we are in a slowdown, or we're hiding, anything like that," he said. "Our officers are active and they are out there."
The fate of the Minneapolis Police Department is in the hands of voters come November, over the question of whether the city's charter should be amended to remove the police department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety with a comprehensive health focus.
In a recent poll of 800 registered voters sponsored by the Star Tribune, MPR News, KARE 11 and FRONTLINE to gauge interest of replacing the department, 55% said they don't want to reduce the size of the police force while 29% do. But nearly half favor replacing the department while 41% oppose it.
In St. Paul, two people were injured in two separate shootings over the weekend. Both victims are expected to survive, said St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders. Around 9:30 Saturday, police heard gunfire in the 800 block of Rice Street in the city's North End neighborhood. Officers found a man who was shot in the neck and took him to Regions Hospital. Linders said based on the preliminary investigation, the victim engaged in a shootout with another male who fled the scene.
At 1 a.m. Sunday, a woman was shot multiple times in her SUV while trying to park near the intersection of Charles and Asbury streets. "Another vehicle pulled up and started shooting at her," Linders said, adding that a passenger moved the woman from the driver seat and drove the SUV to the hospital after calling 911.
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751