Police in Brooklyn Park believe two "ghost" guns assembled from mail-ordered parts were used in a shooting last month that killed a 17-year-old boy and injured another.
At a press conference Thursday, Police Chief Mark Bruley said two 17-year-old suspects are in custody and investigators have searched their home in connection with the shooting outside the Regent Apartments on Friday, Nov. 18.
Syoka Siko, a senior at Andover High School, died in the shooting.
The investigation began around 8:40 p.m. the evening of the shooting when a 911 call sent police to a vehicle on the Interstate 94 exit ramp onto 53rd Ave. N. in north Minneapolis.
Bruley said officers found four occupants, all 17 years old, inside the car, including Syoka and another teen suffering from gunshot wounds.
At the press conference, Bruley said investigators have determined three or four rounds were fired from inside the vehicle outside the apartment in Brooklyn Park.
There's no indication shots were fired from anywhere else in the area, he said.
Police believe the shooter aimed the rounds outside of the vehicle, but the result of that gunfire left Syoka and another teenager injured.
Bruley described the suspects and victims as friends.
'Ghost' gun investigation
Although no criminal charges have yet been filed, Burley said police searched the suspects' home and found evidence that they'd obtained two illegal, unserialized firearms through the internet.
The so-called "ghost" guns were assembled from mail-ordered kits containing gun parts.
According to Burley, investigators believe both weapons were in the vehicle the night of the shooting. Afterwards, he alleged, the suspects made an effort to hide the guns before continuing on to north Minneapolis, where the 911 call for medical help was placed.
Police have since recovered both firearms.
Brooklyn Park Police Inspector Elliot Faust said it's "surprisingly simple" to assemble a firearm from parts ordered online.
“It’s almost like playing Legos," he said, adding 26 "ghost" guns have been recovered in Brooklyn Park so far this year amid a rising trend.
Syoka was a successful student and a rising star in basketball, having played on the Park Center state championship basketball team last season as a junior, according to remembrances from those who knew him.
In April, a Twitter post from Park Centers Boys Basketball described Syoka as a 6'1'' guard with a 3.6 GPA.
"We are grieving, Syoka was an amazing kid, and we are trying to support our kids, families, and community that are hurting around such a senseless loss of young life," James Ware, Park Center boys' basketball coach and principal at Hopkins High School, shared in a statement last week.
Also in a statement, Brooklyn Park Mayor Lisa Jacobsen said Syoka was a star both on and off the field.
"He loved his parents, family, friends and sports," she wrote, directing followers to a GoFundMe campaign for Syoka's family. "His death is tragic and extremely hard to imagine the pain his loved ones are going through."
During Thursday's press conference, Syoka's mother — Alvera Voss — asked anyone with information about his death to come forward.
"Speak what you know," she said. "The truth will set you free."