A 12-year-old boy died Wednesday after he was shot during what police called a "neighborhood dispute" in the Sumner-Glenwood neighborhood on Minneapolis' North Side.
London Michael Bean, identified by his grandmother, was shot at 3:41 p.m. in the 800 block of N. Aldrich Avenue, in a cluster of apartment complexes.
What began as an argument between two people ended with another boy shooting London, whose involvement in the altercation remained unclear, according to police spokesman Garrett Parten. The suspect — whom witnesses described to police as being in his midteens — fled before police arrived.
Emergency responders arrived to what Parten called "a chaotic scene" and found London in critical condition. He was taken to HCMC, where he died.
London's grandmother, Darlisa Williams, said he was a sixth-grader at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis and a loving child who always tried to help her out.
"I never would have imagined him being shot," she said. She said her faith was comforting her: "I know my grandson is in a better place."
Williams said she took London, whom she affectionately called her "grandbaby," to the Minnesota State Fair on Monday. "He didn't even want to eat anything — he just drank a soda and rode the rides," she said.
London's death marks Minneapolis' 64th homicide of 2021 and the third fatal shooting of a child in the past few months.
A neighbor who belongs to a group called the Minnesota Freedom Fighters heard an argument at N. 8th and Aldrich avenues between two groups of boys, some of them recording the altercation on phones. The neighbor, who uses the nickname Stepchild, asked that his legal name not be used to protect his safety.
When he heard gunshots, he ran to the scene to try and help the boy, he said. A vehicle driving by with a young teenager in the back seat was also hit by at least three bullets, he added.
The neighborhood has become a hotbed for shootings, with many residents recalling one that took place last weekend in a nearby parking lot. Citing concerns about growing gang activity, residents said they have started neighborhood patrols and asked for help from community peacekeeping groups.
According to a Star Tribune database, at least 30 children under 18 have been struck by gunfire this year. In particular, the shootings of three young victims in the span of several weeks this spring struck a chord.
On April 30, Ladavionne Garrett Jr., 10, was riding in a car with his parents when a gunman's bullet struck him in the head. He survived, but has been undergoing physical therapy. On May 15, Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was jumping on a trampoline in the Jordan neighborhood when a car pulled into an alley and someone inside fired several shots. She died May 27 at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale. Aniya Allen, 6, died May 19 at North Memorial, two days after she was shot as her mother drove by N. 36th and Penn avenues. An $180,000 reward has been offered for information in the shootings.
Staff writer Libor Jany contributed to this report.