Skip to main content

Man gets 7 years for shooting boy, 13, in head at Minneapolis' Little Earth complex

He'll spend 7 years in prison for the serious assault.

A man will spend 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting a 13-year-old boy in the back of a head near Minneapolis' Little Earth neighborhood in October.

Andrew Townsend, 22, was sentenced to serve 84 months on Monday, after admitting last month he was the shooter in the Oct. 9 incident that left Shahntario Cortez Aquash-Rodriguez requiring 86 staples in his head.

The victim's mother spoke before the court on Thursday, with the Hennepin County Attorney's office sharing some of her comments after Townsend was sentenced.

"My life was changed forever when my son received a gunshot wound to the head," she said. "His doctors didn’t know if he would make it. A portion of his skull was removed and they had to use 86 staples to put his head back together."

"Our family has suffered trauma, anxiety and stress," she added. "And I haven’t been able to work for eight months because I need to take care of him.” 

The shooting happened in Ogema Place in south Minneapolis, near the Little Earth housing complex that has been the scene of multiple acts of violence in recent months, including a shooting in May that left six people injured.

Today's Top Stories

– Sweltering heat, humidity to arrive for Father's Day weekend.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

A 19-year-old man was shot dead at the complex in March, prompting the Little Earth Residents Association President Jolene Jones to call for an end to "the violence and the guns."

In the Oct. 9 incident, police found the boy lying on the ground in a backyard with a gunshot wound to the head.

Surveillance footage showed Townsend and two other men fighting, with Townsend holding a gun.

They then walked toward a townhouse, and a short time later the victim can be seen falling to the ground and the three men running from the area.

The Little Earth neighborhood, a subsidized housing complex in south Minneapolis, run by the Little Earth of United Tribes, is the heart of Minneapolis' American Indian population, though its almost 1,000 residents come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.


6 shot at Little Earth complex in Minneapolis

Three people have been detained in connection with the shooting.

Man who crashed car into kids at playground pleads guilty

He was fleeing police at the time, and caused serious injuries to two of the children.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Boy, 12, fatally shot in Minneapolis

It happened during an argument Wednesday afternoon.

Woman charged after 4-year-old boy shoots himself in hand

The boy was able to get his hands on a loaded gun.