A man who was fatally shot Sunday morning in north Minneapolis lost his brother to gun violence just a block away nearly two years ago.

A family member identified Gregory Hoskins, 37, as the man who died just after midnight on the 1500 block of Plymouth Avenue N.

Police received a report of shots fired about 12:25 a.m. in that area, which is several blocks east of the Police Department’s Fourth Precinct. Hoskins was taken by ambulance to HCMC and died there. According to the police scanner, 10 rounds were fired, and Hoskins was shot in the back.

The shooting was tragically similar to what occurred on July 28, 2017, when his brother, Divittin Hoskins, 32, was shot in the 1600 block of Plymouth.

At the time, police said Divittin Hoskins was killed in retaliation for an earlier shooting.

Granville Payne, Gregory Hoskins’ nephew, said his family was “holding up” after Sunday’s loss. Payne said his mother woke him up early Sunday morning because there had been a shooting. They soon found out the victim was their own family member.

“He was a nice person, that’s all I can say,” Payne said about Gregory Hoskins. “He always went to work. That’s what he [did] — he went to work and came home.”

Gregory Hoskins worked for a construction company and had a newborn daughter, Payne said, and two additional children living in Minneapolis.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rev. Harding Smith gathered more than a dozen community members on a corner near where the brothers had been shot to pray for an end to gun violence.

Smith, head of the Spiritual Church of God in Robbinsdale and a frequent presence after tragedy strikes in north Minneapolis, asked God to help community members discuss their problems instead of resorting to “the way of the gun.”

He called on the Minneapolis Police Department to reach out to community leaders instead of “closing doors.”

“Whenever there’s a loss of life due to senseless violence, the community hurts,” Smith said. “We are going through so much trauma right now.”

The Rev. Charles Caine, also of the Spiritual Church of God, urged the group to pray that the shooting doesn’t lead to retaliation.

A violent area

Hoskins’ killing is the 18th homicide of the year in Minneapolis. No arrests had been made as of Sunday evening.

Nearly two years ago, Divittin Hoskins was shot once in the head by James Woodard, 32, who had crouched next to a garage on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue N. and waited for him to arrive home. Woodard shot Hoskins in front of his children, who police said were “hysterical” after the shooting but weren’t physically harmed.

Woodard was sentenced to life without parole for the killing.

The area has a history of violence. Police shot and killed Jamar Clark in November 2015 in that same block.

Five men were shot while protesting Clark’s killing at the nearby Fourth Police Precinct. The shooter, Allen Lawrence Scarsella of Lake­ville, was convicted of felony first-degree assault and riot charges.


Staff writers Libor Jany and Paul Walsh contributed to this report.