After three shootings and two deaths over the holiday weekend, community activists in Minneapolis are pleading for peace and asking whether enough is being done in their neighborhoods to prevent gun violence.
“I’m hurt for the community. I’m hurt for the children that play in this area that are terrified and I’m hurt for the families,” activist K.G. Wilson told WCCO.
Pastor Harding Smith, of Minnesota Acts Now, told FOX 9, "It's reached a point now where you don't have to be in a gang or live in a bad community to have such a thing happen to you or some member of your family."
Minneapolis police have now identified the victims of two separate fatal shootings during a holiday weekend when the city's police chief urged residents to "put down their guns and find another way to resolve personal conflicts."
KSTP reports the Hennepin County medical examiner identified the victim of a fatal shooting in northeast Minneapolis late Friday night as 28-year-old Cabrie Devon Young, who died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Two other men suffered non-life threatening injuries in that same incident.
FOX 9 reports that the father of five was shot at a cookout.
The Pioneer Press reports one of the injured men is in custody and being held on probable-cause homicide. Police say the shooting on Dupont Avenue is unrelated to one that left a woman dead in the 2600 block of North Third Street at about 5 a.m. Saturday.
On Sunday night, the medical examiner identified the victim as 24-year-old Francesca Marie DeSandre of Minneapolis. The medical examiner says the death was a homicide caused by multiple gun shot wounds.
The Pioneer Press says there was also a report of a man injured in a shooting at 46th and Lyndale Avenues on Minneapolis' north side.
And WCCO reports police are investigating two different stabbings that each left a person hospitalized. Authorities told the station one of the stabbings was related to the shooting that killed DeSandre.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau's statement on the department's Facebook page emphasized that investigators believe the two fatal shootings were not random and were not related to each other. Harteau says police are working to apprehend those responsible and urged residents to put their guns down.
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Mayor Betsy Hodges referenced the killings via Twitter.
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Context: Violence in Minneapolis
Minneapolis has had 16 killings so far this year, FOX 9 reports.
For perspective, Minneapolis' homicide rate is dwarfed by that of a number of other metros. Chicago has had 182 slayings this year, the Chicago Tribune notes. There have been 270 in greater Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reports. Minneapolis' murder rate was below that of most cities its size or larger, according to a 2009 comparison by the U.S. Census.
Minneapolis was not on Forbes' list of the 10 most dangerous cities last year.
In related news, a new study suggests that cities are actually safer than small towns, noting that the risk of death from an injury — including shootings, vehicle accidents, drownings and falls – is more than 20 percent higher in rural small towns than the big metros, NBC reports.
Each week, the Minneapolis Police Department releases a map of all reports of shots fired in Minneapolis over the past seven days – whether it’s an actual shooting, the sound of shots fired, or an activation of the ShotSpotter technology. According to those maps, there were different shootings recorded from June 3 through June 30 – and dozens more instances of shots fired.
Just last month, WCCO reported the Minneapolis City Council voted to spend an additional $300,000 in order to expand the ShotSpotter program to more parts of north Minneapolis, due to increased gun violence in the area.
You can see a breakdown of Minneapolis crime statistics – by type of crime, month, and neighborhood – by clicking here. Through May, a total of 10 homicides were recorded throughout the city.