A 35-year-old man Minneapolis police detectives believe pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting of another man early Thursday has been charged with second-degree murder.

Willie Brown Jr. was booked into the Hennepin County jail less than eight hours after the shooting occurred early Thursday in the 1900 block of Newton Avenue N., in north Minneapolis’ Willard-Hay neighborhood. Brown was charged Friday in the shooting death of 29-year-old Dwayne Hawkins Jr. of Minneapolis.

According to the charges, officers arrived on Newton just after 5 a.m. Thursday in response to reports of a shooting. They found Hawkins lying in the street with three bullet wounds to his face and neck. He died less than an hour later at a hospital.

Witnesses told police that Brown was at a home on Sheridan Avenue N. when he tried to proposition a woman before male relatives and friends intervened.

Brown left the residence, then came back late Wednesday or early Thursday to confront the men. Hawkins arrived and broke up the argument, charges said. Brown and the victim then left together in the victim’s black Chevrolet Impala.

As police were investigating Hawkins’ death, they were called to a report of a shooting at the Sheridan Avenue N. residence of the woman he had propositioned, the charges say.

Witnesses told police that Brown, driving the Impala, had shot at the house, according to the charges.

Police found the car and saw the interior was covered in blood. Later, authorities found Brown walking in the neighborhood.

Authorities said they found two handguns that matched the discharged cartridge casings at both shooting scenes.

Brooklyn Park police have video of Brown at a car wash discarding bloody cloth at a time between the two shootings.

The shooting was the latest in a series of gun attacks across Minneapolis this past week. It was the city’s 10th homicide of the year.

In 2017, the city had logged seven homicides during the same period.


Staff writer Karen Zamora contributed to this report.