Three unrelated shootings within three hours of each other early Saturday left one man dead and four others wounded, forcing police to pull squad cars from every precinct to handle the calls.
No arrests have been announced in the incidents.
“Five people shot in three hours is unusual, but not unheard of,” police spokesman John Elder said during a news conference Saturday, adding, “It’s a concern to the mayor and chief.”
The homicide occurred about 3:20 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Lyndale Avenue N. Responding to multiple 911 calls, police said they found a 34-year-old man with a gunshot wound following an altercation. The victim, whose identity hasn’t been released, died at the scene.
Thirteen squad cars from across the city were sent to the Lyndale Avenue area in what officials described as an “exceptionally chaotic” atmosphere, involving a large gathering of people. “A lot of screaming, a lot of yelling, a lot of crying,” Elder said.
A 27-year-old man, whom police believe was involved in a shootout with the homicide victim, arrived at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale with a gunshot wound to his leg before officers arrived. Police believe the men knew each other and got into a confrontation that turned violent.
About two hours earlier, 13 different squads had been sent to N. 2nd Avenue and N. 3rd Street after patrol officers heard shots.
Police found two 21-year-old men with gunshot wounds — one to the knee, the other to the elbow. Both were taken to HCMC. The men told police they were sitting on a curb when someone started shooting; police, citing witnesses, said the incident was preceded by an altercation at a nearby restaurant.
In the morning’s third incident, a man, 29, drove himself to North Memorial around 4:15 a.m., saying he had been shot in the back when another vehicle pulled up next to him while he was driving near N. 33rd and Irving avenues, and someone inside started firing.
The cluster of calls on Saturday “stretches the resources of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Elder said, as dispatchers were trying to scramble to pull people from the homicide team to investigate the shooting on Irving.
The shootings come amid a dramatic increase in gun violence that has police redoubling their efforts in certain areas.
Police are also continuing their investigation into a shooting that occurred Thursday night. In that incident, a 21-year-old man was at a house party near the corner of N. 31st and Colfax avenues when gunfire broke out just before 11 p.m.
The man, who was shot in the shoulder, told police that he ran away when the shooting started and was later driven to a nearby hospital by his girlfriend.
Thursday night’s shooting followed the city’s 18th homicide six days earlier and a block away, in which 16-year-old Quay Felton was shot outside of a house near the intersection of 30th and Colfax N. avenues.