Two separate shootings in north Minneapolis, one Tuesday night and another early Wednesday, led to the deaths of two men and pushed the city's homicide tally for the year to 62.
In the most recent homicide, a man was shot in an alley shortly before 1 a.m. in the 3500 block of N. Bryant Avenue.
The victim, whose name has not been released, was taken to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, where he died, police spokesman John Elder said.
Police originally detained a man who was "hostile and resistant" with investigators, Elder said.
"Evidence located indicated that this individual was a person of interest in this shooting," Elder said.
The 30-year-old suspect was booked into the Hennepin County jail where he was being held on probable cause murder.
Investigators were still trying to learn what led to the deadly encounter that appeared to have stemmed from a confrontation, said Elder. It was not clear if the suspect and the victim knew each other.
On Tuesday night, police were called to the 2800 block of N. Fremont Avenue just after 8 p.m. on a call of a shooting. The victim was standing in the area when gunshots rang out. He was struck and fell to the ground, Elder said.
The man, believed to be in his late 20s, was taken to a hospital and died several hours later. His name has not been released.
Police also found a second victim who was grazed by a bullet in the same shooting, Elder said. No arrests have been made in connection with Tuesday's incident.
The shooting continued a trend of gun violence with more than one victim. There have been 48 such incidents so far in 2020, after the city averaged 32 in the past two years, MPD statistics show.
Such incidents have contributed to an explosion of gun violence in the city; of the 406 people struck by gunfire, about a third were involved in multivictim shootings.
Another such incident happened Sept. 23, when five people were injured when gunfire erupted outside Broadway Pub and Grille, also known as the 200 Bar. Police say the shooting followed an altercation that spilled outside onto W. Broadway. It was the second mass shooting incident at the bar after seven people were shot there on June 14, one fatally, in a shootout between rival gang members in which at least 100 rounds were fired, police said.
The day before the most recent shooting at the bar, two 16-year-olds were shot while driving in the 3700 block of N. Morgan Avenue in an apparent road rage incident. One of the youths was treated at an area hospital for a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound, while the other suffered a graze wound that didn't require medical attention, police said. The suspects were gone before police arrived.
Metro State Prof. James Densley said no single cause can explain the rise in such incidents in Minneapolis, as in other large U.S. cities. Rather, he said, a variety of factors are likely to blame, ranging from recent unrest over racial injustice to the COVID-19 pandemic, which "exacerbated pre-existing social problems that feed violence," including "a lack of jobs and education opportunities, and a lack of access to adequate health care."
Misinterpretations of calls to "defund the police," combined with questions about police legitimacy in the wake of controversial killings of Black Americans, may have contributed to an atmosphere where people believe they can't rely on police and have to protect themselves. A seemingly bottomless supply of firearms is also a factor, he said.