Two men were found dead inside a home in St. Paul’s Uppertown neighborhood and a third man was severely wounded in a shooting just two blocks away early Thursday. Police said they are working to determine if the two violent scenes are connected.
Officers were called to the 200 block of Forbes Avenue, near the Salvation Army at at W. 7th Street and Smith Avenue. As medics were en route, they discovered a man shot multiple times on the sidewalk in front of the Salvation Army.
That victim was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was in critical condition, said police spokesman Steve Linders.
About the same time, officers arrived at the home on Forbes and found two males — either in their teens or adults — inside and dead upstairs. There’s no further word on the circumstances leading to those deaths, Linders said. The medical examiner is working to determine both the cause of death and the victims’ ages, he said.
Linders said it was too early to tell whether the incidents are related, and police for now are treating them “as two separate cases.”
Still, it appeared from what police were examining Thursday morning, that the incidents may be related. Investigators cordoned off with yellow police tape several blocks between the house on Forbes and the Salvation Army complex. Small yellow cards dotted the ground from the house, down a side street, to W. 7th — apparently marking places where evidence was found. Officers, one with a K9, walked from door to door, looking for additional evidence and crime scene technicians catalogued and photographed multiple spots along the ground.
Others knocked on doors and interviewed potential witnesses. Other personnel briefly talked to people who appeared to live near the home on Forbes, but were blocked from going past the police tape. A woman who spoke with an officer said she does not yet know if she knows the victims.
Outside the Salvation Army, volunteers Regina Shoecraft and Rod Asleson offered people cups of hot coffee as they waited for police to clear the scene. Most mornings, the Salvation Army serves breakfast to 150 to 300 people in the building’s dining room, but no meals were being served inside Thursday. Neither was the Salvation Army conducting its daily child development program.
That didn’t keep volunteers from serving sandwiches, doughnuts, bagels and fruit to many of the folks gathered at the clock tower across the street, said Molly Schuneman, head of Social Services for the Salvation Army.
“We are doing what we can,” she said.
Capt. Geff Crowell of the Salvation Army said he got a call about 5:30 a.m. telling him of the disruption. Still, he said, the organization’s cadre of volunteers showed up to serve food and smiles to the people, many of them homeless, gathered outside.
“Even in the midst of city violence, our volunteers were here early to comfort and to serve,” he said.
A couple blocks away, near the intersection of Forbes and Douglas, Jim Sazevich stopped to watch police do their work. A historian who has lived in the area for decades, he said the last homicide he can remember in this area of 150-year-old homes occurred 30 years ago.
“This is an absolutely wonderful, safe neighborhood. There is no street crime, no vandalism,” he said, pointing to old homes that have recently been bought and rehabiliateted by doctors, lawyers — even a police officer.
“This is a very high energy area,” he said, mentioning the recent opening of the nearby Bad Weather Brewery Taproom, the Schmidt Brewery artists lofts and other signs of resurgence for one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. “This is just sad.”
Anyone with information about either case is asked to call the police homicide unit at 651-266-5650.
Paul Walsh contributed to this article.