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A grandmother killed by a stray bullet is Minneapolis' latest homicide victim

It's the 10th homicide in Minneapolis this year.
Author:

Frustration is mounting in Minneapolis, where family members identified the victim in the latest fatal shooting
as Birdell Beeks.

The 59-year-old was sitting in her car with her granddaughter just after 6 p.m. Thursday when she was shot, WCCO reports, and police say she was not the intended target.

The shooting occurred at 21st and Penn Ave. North and a statement from the police department says several people were later taken into custody at a home about a block away on Oliver Ave. The statement said officers would be conducting "focused, directed patrol" in the area during coming days.

The Star Tribune reports Beeks' shooting led City Council President Barb Johnson to speak out against recent violence on the north side at Friday's council meeting, saying: "We're being held hostage. It's absolutely unacceptable. We've got groups of younger people that are out of control."

Meanwhile, police chief Janeé Harteau sounded similarly exasperated in a statement she released on Friday.

"One of my greatest concerns has been realized: people with no regard for the lives of those in our community taking the life of an innocent bystander," Harteau wrote.

Harteau said the arrests after the shooting gave her some comfort that justice would be served. But in describing police efforts to get dangerous gang members off the streets, she said:

"It is clear that they have no concern for others, no reaction to community outrage and little concern for the increased police presence. Furthermore, it would appear they are not deterred by fear of getting caught or the penalties they will face."

The chief says 12 additional officers will begin patrolling the north side beginning on June 12. That's on top of extra squads that were sent to the area earlier this year.

Harteau says "We have put every additional resource into the areas plagued by gun violence that we can, while continuing to patrol and protect all parts of the city."

Beeks' shooting was the 10th homicide of 2016 in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune says, and the 123rd shooting, with 97 of them on the north side.

Police say they'll be canvassing the neighborhood where Beeks was killed and encourage anyone with information about the crime to speak with officers. They may also call the department's tip line at 612-692-TIPS (8477).

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