A 20-year-old man shot hours into the new year during a dispute at a Dinkytown party is Minneapolis' first homicide of 2016.
James Edward Bills of Minneapolis was shot in the head at around 2 a.m. Jan. 1 in the 500 block of 8th Avenue SE., according to Minneapolis police.
He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was taken off life support. Police spokesman John Elder confirmed Bills' death as the city's first homicide of the year. Police have made no arrests but are pursuing leads, Elder said.
Bills' uncle, Will Finley of Belle Plaine, said his nephew was an organ donor.
Finley said his nephew was shot when he defended a woman who was involved in an argument with the shooter.
When Bills stepped in to intervene, the shooter turned the gun on him. Bills had just turned 20 days before he was killed, Finley said.
Bills, a high school graduate known for his work ethic, leaves behind his father and four brothers.
"James always put everybody before himself," Finley said. "He would put himself in harm's way to get you to do the right thing all the time, even with his brothers and his friends.
He never caught a break, but he was a selfless kid."
Finley said family members are attempting to raise money through social media to bring his body home to Chicago, so that he can be buried in Illinois next to his mother, who died from a brain aneurysm when he was a child.