Skip to main content

4th Precinct shooting suspects in court: 'We're not racists'

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Four men charged with shooting several people outside the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis last week appeared in Hennepin County District Court Tuesday, as attorneys for two of them claimed their clients are "not racists" even though the attack was believed to have been racially motivated.

Five protesters were wounded by gunfire in the shooting, which occurred Nov. 23 near 14th Avenue and Morgan Avenue N., about one block from the police station.

Protesters have been camping outside the precinct ever since the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark by a police officer on Nov. 15. They claim Clark was handcuffed when he was shot, but police officers deny that claim.

According to the criminal complaints, the four suspects went there to disrupt the demonstration for racial reasons; they've been described by protesters as white supremacists.

The shooting occurred after a group of protesters challenged the men and tried to get them to leave, the complaint said.

Allen Scarsella, 23, is accused of shooting the five men and faces the most serious charges – five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Attorneys for two of the defendants, Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City, and Joseph Backman, 27, of Eagan, said at Tuesday's court hearing their clients aren't white supremacists, the Star Tribune reports.

Macey is Asian, the newspaper notes. The other three defendants are white, and all of the shooting victims are black.

An attorney for Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown, said there's no proof his client had a gun, the Associated Press reports.

The men have not been charged with hate crimes. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said prosecutors considered hate crime charges, but the charges announced Monday carry heftier sentences.

“This is the most serious crime we can charge under the circumstances,” Freeman said.

All four remain jailed. Bail was set at $500,000 for Scarsella and $250,000 each for the other defendants, according to the Associated Press. They are due back in court in January.

Next Up

LoganSlackDakotaCoJail

Man pleads guilty to murder of Inver Grove Heights father

Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, was killed during a burglary at his home.

Eggs at Hy-Vee

Price comparison: How much do eggs cost at Twin Cities grocery stores?

Prices have been spiking, so where can you find the cheapest eggs?

KwonFloodFOX9

FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.

RestaurantFireSTP

St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

Dave Durenberger

Former U.S. Senator for Minnesota Dave Durenberger dies at 88

Durenberger served two terms before his disgraceful exit in the mid-1990s.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 10.17.33 AM

Two new breweries join Minneapolis, St. Paul downtowns

There are new spots in North Loop and Lowertown.

driver's license

'Driver's Licenses For All' bill passes Minnesota House, heads to Senate

It would allow Minnesotans to obtain it without needing proof of legal presence in the U.S.

Related