Skip to main content

Family: Woman, 19, killed by 'senseless' violence while watching street racers in Minneapolis

She was one of three people fatally shot in Minneapolis in a span of 45 minutes.
Vanessa Jensen

Vanessa Jensen

The 19-year-old woman who was fatally shot in Minneapolis early Saturday morning died of a "senseless act of violence," friends and family say. 

Vanessa Jensen had gone with her cousins to watch street racing in Minneapolis when she was killed. The shooting happened on the 2200 block of North Second Street at about 1:30 a.m. on June 5, police said

"I told her, 'Stay away from those — it's just not a good idea,'" Rachel Jensen told the Star Tribune on Sunday, hours after people released balloons in Vanessa's memory at White Bear Lake High School.

She was set to turn 20 years old in four days but instead "she died from this tragic and senseless act of violence," a Go Fund Me page set up for her family says. "Vanessa Jensen was doing very well in her life, she was hard-working, independent, and making plans for the future. This is an overwhelming loss for so many."

The page describes her as "loyal, smart, sweet, kind, generous and loving, with a mind and style all her own," adding "she liked being around people and had a great sense of humor."

Vanessa was one of two people killed by stray bullets while watching street racers.

The other street racing spectator was shot around 1:48 a.m. in the area of East Lake Street under the bridge that goes over Hiawatha Avenue. Police said in that incident, "a group of people in cars took over" the roadway and were "driving recklessly and spinning around in their cars causing damage to the roadway when two of the individuals got into a dispute."

The two people then began shooting at one another, with a stray bullet hitting a man who had pulled over to watch, police said. 

Street racing has been a major problem in Minneapolis and nearby communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which mirrors a trend nationwide. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Officials in the Twin Cities say they're working to form a group to address the problem, FOX 9 notes. 

There was a third fatal shooting within a span of 45 minutes in Minneapolis early Saturday morning, police said, marking the 38th homicide in the city this year. A Metro Transit witnessed that shooting and shot and injured the suspect, police said. 

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online here. All tips are anonymous and could lead to a financial reward. 

Next Up

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."

Nero

The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.

MPR

APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.

Related

Keisa Lange

Tributes to woman 'violently taken from her family' in St. Cloud

She was found dead at the side of a road, with no arrests made in her killing.

sean peterson hopkins

Mom of man killed in Hopkins says son died in her arms

He was fatally shot on Sunday night at the apartment building where he lived.

street racing lowry hill tunnel

Street racers shut down Lowry Hill Tunnel in Minneapolis on Sunday

The incident was reported early Sunday morning; no arrests have been made.

Screen Shot 2021-06-08 at 9.31.17 AM

Cambridge boy ID'd as victim killed by stray bullet during street racing

The 17-year-old was a student at Cambridge-Isanti High School.

ambulance

2 killed in separate incidents in Minneapolis hours apart Thursday

One man was killed in a triple shooting, the other fatally stabbed in an apparent domestic incident.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

2 men die in separate shootings in Minneapolis

In both incidents, police believe there were disputes prior to the shootings.

dolal idd

Family identifies man who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police

Dolal Idd of Eden Prairie was killed by police near a Holiday gas station on Dec. 30.

police tape, crime scene

Driver dies days after he was shot in Minneapolis

It's the 73rd homicide in Minneapolis this year.