They were there to visit a friend who'd been shot earlier that August day, and the moment they walked outside the hospital, they themselves were shot at in a violent attack from a rival gang.
This is just one incident in what prosecutors describe as a long and bloody gang war that played out on the streets of Minneapolis, according to a news release. Now, seven men have been charged in federal court for perpetuating that gang war.
The players in this years-long conflict, the U.S. Attorney's Office says, are the 10z and 20z gangs and the Bloods and Bogus Boys.
One of the gangs was linked to 50 different shooting incidents that occurred over the past year.
The hospital shooting, other charges
Charged in the August 2014 incident outside the Hennepin County Medical Center are two alleged members of the 10z and 20z gangs who reportedly go by "Boo Boo" and "P3," real names Andrew Peterson and Percy Lacey, Jr., respectively.
The release says Peterson and Lacey coordinated the "wild shootout" on the men outside the hospital – members of the rival Bloods gang – by luring them outside into the open, where a volley of gunfire was waiting for them.
They and five others are facing charges in a weapons and drug trafficking conspiracy that prosecutors say was fueling the gang war, in which some of the gang members involved lost their lives.
Clarence Dickens, Paul Early, Thomas Bennett, Anthony Doss and Daniel Adams are the other men indicted Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in St. Paul.
The charges against them include multiple counts of felony weapons possession, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possess firearms, and other drug trafficking offenses. All defendants range in age from 22 to 29 years old.
"I am confident that this investigation will significantly impact the flow of illegal firearms and criminal use of those firearms on the streets," said James Modzelweski, special agent in charge at the ATF's St. Paul Field Division.
Officials say the gangs were active in south Minneapolis and ran a drug ring that included the sale of marijuana, crack cocaine, and heroin – and "routinely" traded gunfire to protect their operations.
"Virtually all" of the shootings, the U.S. Attorney's release adds, were the result of territorial disputes, robberies of competing drug dealers, and retaliatory strikes.