Minneapolis police detectives are combing through witness statements, surveillance video and other evidence to determine what led to a shooting Monday evening that left three people wounded, including a middle schooler who was caught in crossfire as he walked along the street.
All three male victims — ages 14, 31 and 40 — are expected to survive, police said.
Officers were called at 6:04 p.m. to the 700 block of West Broadway for a reported shooting. When they arrived, officers found two gunshot victims, including the boy, who had been shot in the face, according to police scanner audio and bystander video.
Both were taken to North Memorial Medical Center via ambulance, police said. Soon after, a third victim was dropped off at another hospital.
One of the victims, the 31-year-old man, was later booked into the county jail on suspicion of narcotics possession, court records show.
No suspects had been publicly identified or arrested as of Tuesday afternoon. The victims’ condition was not available.
While police wouldn’t speculate on a possible motive for the shooting, they are investigating all leads, including street murmurs that it stemmed from a dispute over drug-selling territory.
No information about suspects or motive was available.
The block where the shooting occurred — which also includes a Merwins Liquor store, a check-cashing business and a church — has a reputation for trouble, so much so that residents have taken to calling a nearby gas station by a grim nickname: the “Murder Station.” Earlier Monday, police responded to a call of a person with a gun, and arrested a suspect who was carrying a BB gun.
Since the start of the year, there have been at least four shootings on the block or directly across the street — all within the past four months — and at least 10 incidents in which residents called 911 to report shots fired or the area’s ShotSpotter detected gunfire, according to department records.
Witnesses and police said that the youth and a relative had been walking down Lyndale Avenue N. when two groups began firing at each other, and a bullet apparently tore through his cheek.
“I can confirm that the juvenile appears to have been caught in crossfire,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Darcy Horn said on Tuesday. “It appears that there were two shooters.”
A livestreamed Facebook video captured the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, showing bystanders rush toward the boy, who was standing frozen in apparent shock near a doorway, and pressing paper towels against the boy’s face to stop bleeding.
By Monday evening, the footage had been shared nearly 6,000 times online, before being deleted.
The incident was another reminder of the random nature of gun violence, according to Lisa Clemons, who posted videos of the incident on her Facebook page, before taking it down a short while later out of respect for the child’s family.
“The tragedies will continue until we make this our No. 1 priority in north Minneapolis,” said Clemons, a retired city police officer who has in recent weeks publicly called for hiring more police officers to fight crime. “We haven’t gotten there, and it’s sad.”