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Minneapolis man charged in fatal shooting near George Floyd Square

Shantaello Christianson, 31, will make his first court appearance Tuesday.

A Minneapolis man has been charged in a fatal shooting near 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis, home to a memorial to George Floyd.

Shantaello Christianson, 31, was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree riot causing death and prohibited possession of a firearm, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Christianson allegedly shot Imaz Wright of Minneapolis in a gang dispute on March 6.

According to the criminal complaint, Wright was standing outside Cup Foods at George Floyd Square when Christianson drove up in an SUV alongside his wife and wife’s cousin. Christianson and Wright, both members of the Rolling 30’s Bloods gang, were on opposite sides of a dispute.

Christianson’s wife’s cousin got out of the SUV and began arguing with Wright before Christian shot Wright. The three fled in the SUV while several others in the area shot at the vehicle, according to the complaint.

According to the Minneapolis Police Department, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation and 911 calls regarding the incident, but were informed upon arrival that the victim had already been taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

The area around George Floyd Square has been barricaded off to traffic since Floyd's was killed in police custody there in May. Police have not always been welcome at the square, leading to tensions with officers when crimes occur.

The SUV, registered to Christianson’s wife, was found days later in the parking lot of a Brooklyn Center hotel. Surveillance footage shows Christianson and his wife walking out of the hotel. Christianson was seen carrying a duffle bag containing a 9 mm Glock handgun, and a semi-automatic rifle was in the SUV.

Christianson confirmed the guns were his. Christianson was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2007, fifth-degree drug possession in 2009 and second-degree riot in 2013, which made it illegal for him to possess the firearms.

Christianson will make his first court appearance Tuesday. 

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