Minneapolis' mayor and police chief on Saturday decried overnight violence that left six people wounded by gunfire after an altercation near downtown's Target Center.
Police said the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on 5th Street between Hennepin and 1st avenues near an alley by Sneaky Pete's.
Minneapolis police officers were nearby and took three people into custody. Two guns were recovered. The six who were shot received noncritical injuries and were treated at Hennepin County Medical Center.
"Violent acts like last night's shootings are abhorrent and contrary to the values we hold as a city," Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement.
The mayor pledged a full investigation into the circumstances leading to the incident, which occurred around the time most downtown bars close. However, in an e-mail exchange with the Warehouse District Business Association executive director obtained by the Star Tribune, First Precinct Inspector Michael Kjos said there was no evidence that the two rival groups involved in the violence came from a bar or nearby business.
Kjos said the area was "saturated with police officers" and several officers witnessed the gunfire but did not engage because there were too many pedestrians in the area. The arrests and recovery of the two handguns followed a foot chase, Kjos said.
One witness driving by the scene heard the "pop, pop, pop" of gunshots and saw people running in the streets. The noise and chaos caused the horses of several mounted police officers to panic and rear, the witness said.
Police spokesman John Elder said more arrests could potentially follow an investigation but police were not worried about retaliation spilling into the rest of the weekend.
Police Chief Janeé Harteau said those involved "have a blatant disregard for human life and no fear of the consequences of their actions," citing the heavy police presence that was already in the area. She said the swift arrest by officers who ran toward the gunfire and footage from nearby cameras will aid the prosecution of "those who put our community at risk."
"We will not tolerate this behavior and will continue to vigorously pursue those who recklessly endanger the lives of others," Harteau said in a statement.
Joanne Kaufman, Warehouse District Business Association executive director to whom Kjos addressed his comments, voiced her frustration over the shootings to the mayor and City Council: "Please help us before one of our employees, an innocent bystander, a sports fan, or a conventioneer is hurt or worse. It is only a matter of time and the impact will be devastating. Let's stop this before that happens."
Fatal shooting in Jordan
In an unrelated incident early Saturday, one man was killed and three injured in a shooting in the Jordan neighborhood on the city's North Side. The shooting appeared to be drug-related, according to police spokesman Elder.
Officers were summoned to the 1200 block of 22nd Avenue N. shortly after 4:30 a.m. and found three people shot, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene, Elder said. The others were taken to North Memorial Medical Center with serious but noncritical injuries, police said.
Another gunshot victim, spotted several blocks away, was "found to have been with the other three when they were all shot and he fled out of the residence for safety," Elder said.
The death is the 30th homicide of the year in Minneapolis and the latest killing in a recent spike in deadly violence on the North Side.
Staff writer Libor Jany contributed to this report.