Police are investigating whether a shooting earlier this month in north Minneapolis that left four women wounded might be part of an escalating feud between North Side gangs.
The shooting, which occurred the night of June 6 near 8th and Humboldt avenues N., left the women with noncritical injuries, according to departmental sources. All are expected to recover. However, one of the victims was pregnant and lost the fetus after being hit by a bullet in the stomach, sources said.
Police said that one of the women was found at the scene by responding officers, while the other gunshot victims were dropped off at local hospitals.
Sources say that detectives are rounding up potential witnesses and trying to determine whether the shooting was somehow related to an ongoing battle between rival North Side street gangs.
Detectives were having difficulty getting witnesses to the shooting to cooperate, apparently because some feared retaliation by the gunmen.
Police have blamed the feud between "High-End" and "Low-End" gang factions for dozens of shootings in recent months on the North Side, which has seen its number of gunshot victims more than double in the first six months of 2016, compared with last year. The "Highs" are made up of loosely knit street crews who run the northern half of north Minneapolis, while the "Lows," control the southern half. Detectives suspect that the shooting at 8th and Humboldt may have been related to several other violent episodes, including the slayings of Derrick Rodgers and Birdell Beeks, who was killed by an errant bullet as she drove her granddaughter to an appointment.
The escalation in violence has unnerved residents in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods and has prompted city officials to question whether the Police Department has a plan for dealing with the crime spike that typically accompanies the summer months.
After Beeks' death, police officials promised to step up patrols in violent crime hot spots across the city, with assistance from outside agencies.
With the rash of recent shootings, homicide detectives are being used to solve certain cases to help take some of the pressure of the Assault Unit, department sources say.