The owners of a Dinkytown tobacco shop will be required to tighten security measures following a shooting that killed two customers and wounded an employee last weekend.
Royal Cigar & Tobacco volunteered to post licensed security guards at the door and limit the number of people allowed inside during late-night business hours, Minneapolis city officials said.
During a meeting Wednesday, city staff and Second Precinct Inspector Nicholas Torborg reviewed their expectations with the owners, emphasizing that gun violence would not be tolerated inside Minneapolis' licensed businesses.
"We impressed the gravity of the situation because human life was lost here," said Erik Hansen, the newly confirmed director of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED). "They took this very seriously."
His office will continue to closely monitor Royal Cigar — along with other Dinkytown businesses near the U — but hopes that the shooting was an isolated incident resulting from "a series of unfortunate events."
The owners agreed to draft a security plan and have already implemented several new enforcement mechanisms, Hansen said. Should problems persist, Royal Cigar could face formal citations or even the revocation of their license.
"Our goal is compliance," he emphasized. "I do believe the security guard posted at the door is going to be helpful [to curbing misconduct], so it won't be left to untrained employees."
The owners did not return several calls seeking comment.
Municipal codes govern what hours a certain type of business can operate based on their zoning district. Standard hours in that area require tobacco shops to close by 11 p.m. on a Saturday. Local establishments can apply for a permit that allows them to extend their hours, but approval is contingent on a public hearing before the City Council.
The family-owned shop, located just outside the University of Minnesota campus at 14th Avenue and 4th Street SE., has held a conditional-use permit since 2009 authorizing them to conduct sales until 3 a.m. daily.
Few tobacco shops are thought to hold such a permit, which never expires.
A brawl between two groups of customers preceded the shooting around 2:15 a.m. Sunday, shortly before closing time.
Bystander videos posted on social media depict a melee involving at least seven men, with two exchanging punches on the floor as products spilled from shelves. Two men in ski masks were seen with their arms extended toward the scuffle — apparently aiming firearms — followed by a pop.
In a two-second clip, two of the men previously seen fighting lay motionless on the floor. Both died at the scene.
They were later identified as Bryson L. Haskell and Jamartre M. Sanders, both 24 and from Minneapolis.
The shooters arrived in a stolen Kia with three other men, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday. Investigators honed in on two 25-year-old suspects after video surveillance tracked the stolen vehicle to one of their south Minneapolis apartments. They were seen entering the building just 12 minutes after the double homicide.
The next morning, police recovered clothing — including a face mask — and a bag of ammunition in the closet. A fingerprint found at the scene also matched one of the men observed on video.
The Star Tribune generally doesn't name suspects who have yet to be formally charged with a crime.
Minneapolis police declined to comment on the videos or speculate on possible motives, noting that the case remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.