A young mother was fatally wounded in Minneapolis' Willard-Hay neighborhood late Monday when the car she was riding in was fired upon, police and witnesses said.
The victim, who was identified by friends and relatives as 19-year-old Coshaye Brown, was shot in the back somewhere in the 1800 block of Penn Avenue, according to dispatchers and witness accounts.
She was pronounced dead shortly afterward at Hennepin County Medical Center. Her death was the city's 12th homicide of the year.
Brown was recalled by those who knew her as a funny, kind and devoted young mother.
Clementina Lusane said her three daughters grew up playing with Brown, who spent her childhood in Brooklyn Park and went to Robbinsdale Cooper High School. Lusane said she last spoke with Brown sometime last winter, around the time Brown's daughter was born. She remembered Brown as "always loving, caring, helpful and happy."
She was a doting mother, Lusane said, who proudly posted pictures of her smiling infant on social media.
"She was the best thing that ever happened to her. She was very loving and caring," Lusane said. Her daughter "was her whole world."
About a dozen people, some toting signs that read "Stop the Killing" and "Don't Kill Our Women," gathered on Tuesday afternoon for a vigil near the spot where Brown was found.
Detectives were working Tuesday to identify whoever fired the fatal shots, which roused neighbors still shaken by a wild shootout over the weekend involving a party bus. A motive in the most recent shooting is unknown.
The shooting that led to Brown's death apparently began around 11 p.m. in the area of Penn and 8th avenues N., where the victim was riding in what witnesses described as a white Cadillac with several other people. The suspect or suspects scattered before the first police car arrived, witnesses said.
A neighbor who declined to be named said that he heard about seven shots, then saw a white Cadillac heading northbound on Penn in the direction of Minneapolis College Preparatory School. The man said police had been called to the area only the night before when someone started firing into a party bus shortly before 4 a.m. on Sunday. A 39-year-old Minneapolis man was later taken to HCMC with noncritical injuries in relation with that incident, police said. The block was also the scene of another homicide last month.
No arrests had been announced.
According to scanner traffic, the car with Brown inside fled before pulling over about a mile down the road in the 1800 block of Penn Avenue. Police arrived shortly thereafter. Witnesses say that officers detained the car's driver, who ran into a nearby house's backyard and was uncooperative when questioned.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact police at 612-692-8477 or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.