A 36-year-old Spring Lake Park man has been charged with second-degree assault for firing a gun at his neighbor while attempting to buy marijuana, according to a complaint filed Monday.
The 33-year-old victim claimed that Barry Lee Hawkins shot him in the face Sunday night, but charges state that the victim was not hit by gunfire.
According to the complaint, Hawkins admitted to firing a .22 caliber Beretta handgun inside his apartment building, in the 8000 block of Buchanan Street NE.
“Prior to the shooting it is reported the defendant went to the neighboring apartment of the male victim seeking to purchase marijuana,” according to the complaint. “A short time later, the victim went to the defendant’s apartment. There, after a brief confrontation, the defendant ... fired a shot at the victim.”
The Anoka County attorney’s office also is charging Hawkins with illegal possession of a firearm. He was convicted of attempted robbery in March 2019.
Lt. Andy Knotz said the investigation, which was still active, was unrelated to a Spring Lake Park shooting six weeks ago.
In that case, a 19-year-old man from St. Paul was killed and seven others were wounded in a gang-related shooting outside a Thai restaurant on Dec. 23. That shooting also remains under investigation.
Sunday’s shooting was “more of a circumstance than a systemic issue,” like the gang shooting in December, Knotz said.
Back-to-back shootings in a small suburban city like Spring Lake Park is unusual, he said, and “raises some eyebrows, but circumstances surrounding it are not similar at all.”