Standing a half a block from where a man was shot and killed two hours earlier, the Minneapolis police chief and community leaders said enough is enough.
The man who was shot and killed Monday evening was the city’s fifth homicide in six days and the 40th this year, outpacing the 32 homicides in 2014.
“The community needs peace. We need people to put the guns down,” said Police Chief Janeé Harteau. “These cases aren’t necessarily related … but the common denominator is … gun violence. Gun violence is taking over the streets.”
The most recent killing occurred about 4:45 p.m. Monday. Police were called to Pleasant Avenue near Lake Street, where they found the man in the street, dead from a gunshot wound. Police had few details Monday night but said they believe the man who died and the person who shot him knew one another.
The shooting occurred less than 24 hours after a 42-year-old man was shot in a south Minneapolis alley late Sunday. Police found him in the 3700 block of 1st Avenue S. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died early Monday.
The Hennepin County medical examiner will release the identities and cause of death for both men.
Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Human Rights Commission, identified the victim in the Monday night shooting as a Somali man in his 60s who worked as a security guard nearby. Jamal urged his community to help police find the person or people responsible for the shooting.
A number of homicides aren’t being solved because people fear telling police what they might know about these crimes, Jamal said. “We cannot take this any longer,” he said.
Harteau said suspects in many of the shootings have lengthy criminal histories. “They’re not first-time offenders, and we need to find ways to connect those dots and try to predict and prevent the shootings before the next one occurs,” she said.
Peace activist KG Wilson spent Monday responding to three homicides.
“There’s no rest in between,” he said. “I’ve been here 15 years, and I can’t remember a time when it’s constant like this, day in and day out. Enough is enough.”
“I thought with the weather cooling off that the number of homicides would go down,” Wilson said. “In the communities where we live, we have to pray for winter to hurry up and get here to help us save some lives.”