Minneapolis’s streak of violence continued Thursday into Friday with one person killed and eight injured in shootings across the city, including a possibly pregnant woman and a 17-year-old boy who was struck three times, officials said.
In the most recent shooting, officials say a man in his mid-20s was gunned down in a shooting near Farview Park that also left a woman critically wounded. MPD spokesman John Elder said that officers responding to a ShotSpotter activation about 12:34 a.m. Friday found the man at the scene, where he was pronounced dead.
The female victim, whose age wasn’t given, was taken to HCMC, where she went into surgery early Friday for critical injuries. Officials said they were told that she was pregnant.
The suspected shooter’s whereabouts weren’t immediately known, but police hadn’t announced any arrests as of Friday morning. In fact, they said little else about the underlying facts of the case, saying that it was still too early in their investigation to tell what prompted the shooting in the 2900 block of N. 6th Street.
A short time after police arrived, relatives of the victims began showing up at the scene, and were escorted by uniformed officers to the middle of the block, where the man’s body lay. A woman could be heard sobbing and wailing, as a man tried to comfort her. Neighbors from a nearby house watched the scene from their front stoop, their faces illuminated by flashing police lights. One of the onlookers, a woman who was just getting home from work when she heard gunshots, said that the incident was out of the norm for the block, but she declined to say more.
It was the second shooting involving a pregnant woman in less than a week; in the other incident, 27-year-old Leneesha Columbus was slain near the South Side street corner where George Floyd was killed, and a man serving as a security guard at the memorial site was also hit, but survived. Police said that doctors delivered the baby at an area hospital, before Columbus died. A man, 27, has since been charged in her killing.
The violence began Thursday afternoon, with a shooting on the other side of Farview Park:
• About 5:53 p.m., police say a 17-year-old boy was shot three times in the leg, possibly while waiting for a friend to get off the bus; video surveillance captured a man wearing a black hat, gray shirt and black pants running southbound from the scene after shots rang out, while clutching something in his hand, but no arrests were immediately announced.
• About 8:33 p.m., two men were shot at 24th Street and S. Cedar Avenue, near East Phillips Park, where earlier this week a woman had been struck by gunfire, police say.
• About 9:50 p.m., police responded after a male gunshot victim showed up at a gas station on Washington Avenue, but a preliminary investigation suggests that he may have been shot nearby, in the area of 21st Av. N. and N. 6th St.
• About two hours later, police got word that two people had been shot near a laundromat in the 3700 block of Chicago, near the Floyd memorial.
• A short time later, a man suffering from a gunshot showed up at an area hospital, telling staff there that he’d been driving in a vehicle with several children, when another vehicle pulled up next to his in the area of 29th St. and Park Avenue and opened fire, according to officials.
With Friday morning’s slaying, the city has now logged twice as many homicides as it had at this time last year, with 32 — five of which have occurred in the month of July.
Police Department data show that at least 243 people have been shot so far this year; the city had 269 gunshot victims all of 2019.
The shootings come amid a recent surge in gun violence in some large U.S. cities like Chicago and New York City, in the wake of the civil unrest that gripped much of the country.
In Minneapolis, as elsewhere, officials blame the spike on overlapping crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic downturn and a reckoning over racial injustice following Floyd’s death. His killing under the knee of a former Minneapolis police officer has sparked intense debate about race and policing, with some calling on city leaders to scale back, or even eliminate, the city’s police department in favor of a new public safety model that doesn’t automatically criminalize Blacks and Latinos.
But while some law enforcement backers agree that reforms are needed, they say the recent rise in violence only reinforces the need for effective policing.