A man was killed Friday morning when an argument at a south Minneapolis bus stop escalated into gunfire, police and witnesses said.
Police haven’t yet released a motive for the shooting, but said that the victim and suspect knew each other. Neither has been identified publicly.
The attack happened about 7:15 a.m. on the southwest corner of Franklin and Chicago avenues, across the street from a strip mall with a day care center, a Chinese restaurant and a Subway.
Hours later, Rose Carter paced back and forth next to the bus stop, tears streaming down her face. She said the victim was her cousin, whom she knew only as “John” or “John-John” — as did most of the other homeless people who hung around nearby Peavey Field Park. Around there, last names hold little currency, she explained.
A regular presence at that corner, John had gotten into an argument with a group of men earlier that morning, she said.
Angry glares were exchanged, followed by threats of violence. That’s when one man pulled out a gun and shot Carter’s cousin once in the head before fleeing the scene, Carter said.
“He looked at them mean and turned and walked away and that’s when they shot him,” Carter said, recounting what she’d been told about the incident.
Paramedics rushed the victim to Hennepin County Medical Center, but he died there within the hour, a police spokesman said.
On Friday afternoon, detectives continued their search for the shooter.
Witnesses were urged to text any information about the shooting to an anonymous tip line, 847411 (TIP411) or to call 612-692-TIPS (8477).
Neighbors heard gunshot
Traffic near the busy intersection was diverted for a short time while homicide detectives combed through the crime scene. At least part of the incident was captured on a nearby surveillance camera, police said.
Still, details of how the shooting unfolded remained vague Friday afternoon.
One witness, Anna Kohler, said that she and her husband heard a single gunshot from their apartment about a block south of the intersection.
“We looked out the window and saw a man running away from the scene, called 911, and then saw someone laying on the ground on the corner of Franklin and Chicago,” she said in a phone interview.
The man, who was wearing black pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt, ran south on Chicago before turning east onto E. 22nd Street, she said.
“He had the hoodie cinched around his face, so I didn’t get a look at his face,” Kohler said. In the meantime, a passerby started performing CPR on the victim before police arrived, she said.
15 squad cars, bus at scene
Shawn Phillips counted at least “15 cop cars” and a Metro Transit bus at the crime scene as he drove past shortly after 7 a.m. Police appeared to be interviewing the bus driver, Phillips said.
“The bus was stuck and they had it all taped off,” said Phillips, the parish director at Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church in south Minneapolis. “I just prayed for them; I knew something terrible happened with that many police there.”
Less than three hours later, officers had removed the yellow crime-scene tape that had surrounded the corner, and the only police vehicle left in the area was attending to an unrelated accident across the street.
Cousin had ‘heart of gold’
Carter said she didn’t know what led to the confrontation that led to the shooting, adding that her cousin was not one to back down from anyone.
She said that despite a stubborn streak that sometimes got him into trouble, he had “a heart of gold” and a caring soul.
While he didn’t have much to give, he always looked out for her, Carter said, slipping a few dollars when he could and letting her borrow his phone charger whenever her phone went dead.
“Simple things like that don’t mean a whole lot [to most people], but they still matter,” she said, between sobs.