The two men whose deaths Wednesday in downtown Minneapolis triggered hours of rioting had both taken shelter in recent years near where their fateful dispute began.
Eddie F. Sole Jr., who took his own life on Nicollet Mall, was living at Hope Harbor residence near the parking ramp where he allegedly shot Eddie G. Gordon earlier that day.
Police say Sole, Gordon and a woman were in a dispute in a parking garage down the block from Sole’s home when the 61-year-old Gordon was shot to death.
Sole fled to the Nicollet Mall and shot himself. Rumors that police shot Sole led to the violent unrest downtown.
Sole, 38, called the Salvation Army residence home for the past 2½ years, said charity spokesman Dan Furry.
Sole was “a dependable and likable resident,” Furry said. “He was a talented artist who used pencil as his medium.”
Since moving from the Chicago area roughly 14 years ago, Sole had a series of run-ins with the law from 2009 to 2013, but court records show that until Wednesday he had avoid serious trouble since.
Sole’s father, 58-year-old Eddie F. Sole Sr., was murdered in 2013 by his girlfriend. Jetaun Wheeler beat him with a curtain rod and hid his body in a freezer. She was convicted and remains in prison.
Gordon had stayed at Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center on occasion over the years, mostly just for a night and as recently as in 2017, Furry said.
His legal troubles in Minnesota go back to 1988 and involve many nuisance crimes and felony convictions ranging from theft to robbery, court records show.
Attempts made Thursday to reach family members of both men were unsuccessful.
Outside the Harbor Light, a few members of the outreach group MAD DADS sat in the shade under a bench. One of them, Mr. Larry Harris, said he sees many faces but immediately recognized Gordon.
“He was a nice guy. He may have picked up some of those bad habits, but he not too long ago got out of prison himself,” Harris said, adding that Gordon had an amicable personality and frequently offered people rides downtown and would drop them off.