6 arrested, 2 injured after teens cause chaos in downtown Minneapolis


Downtown Minneapolis turned into chaos Tuesday night, when hundreds of teenagers converged on the area and began blocking traffic and getting into fights.

The disturbance apparently began around 8 p.m. after the St. Patrick's Day parade along Nicollet Mall ended. Minneapolis police officials say the teenagers came downtown on buses and trains – which offered free rides for the holiday – with an intent to cause chaos.

Inspector Mike Kjos of the 1st Precinct told reporters the teens were running through the area, blocking traffic, pushing and shoving each other and getting into fights.

Dozens of officers responded, breaking up fights. They used pepper spray in some cases.

Minneapolis police say the incidents were "widespread," and included areas between Third Street and Marquette Avenue, and Eighth Street and Hennepin Avenue. There appeared to be a lot of activity on Nicollet Mall as well.

FOX 9 reporter Maury Glover said police closed off Nicollet and swept it from both ends in an attempt to usher the teenagers onto Metro Transit buses that would take them out of downtown.

Glover said many weren't cooperating at first, but as of about 10 p.m. they had all left downtown. The area was quiet again and the streets were reopened.

Minneapolis police said six arrests were made, and two people who were brawling were treated for minor injuries.

More information could be released Wednesday morning.

There was a report of a shooting a few blocks away, near the city's parking ramp B, but police spokesman John Elder said it's not clear yet whether it was related to the commotion. The victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, and police are looking for the suspect, he said.

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