A suspected gang member from Bloomington has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two people in Peavey Park in Minneapolis late last month.
Antonio Frasion Jenkins Jr., 23, faces four counts of second-degree murder and four counts of attempted second-degree murder for allegedly killing two bystanders who were caught in the crossfire between rival gang members, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a Wednesday afternoon news release.
Four of the eight charges are for committing the crime as part of or on behalf of a gang. Jenkins is a member of the 30z gang and goes by the street name of "Popeye," according to Freeman.
The criminal complaint says the shooting occurred around 10:20 p.m. on July 25, when a group of about five men who were members of the rival 10z gang were standing near the Peace Garden area of Peavey Park.
The two victims, Abdirahman Jined, 24, and Jorge Zavaleta-Martinez, 20, were near the group but not part of it, police say.
Jenkins and another man approached the group; Jenkins pulled a gun and began shooting toward them, according to the criminal complaint. The 10z members and the two victims began running away.
Jined and Zavaleta-Martinez were both shot in the head and died at a hospital the next day, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
During the incident, someone yelled that the shooter was Popeye, according to KSTP.
Police arrested Jenkins on Saturday; he denied being involved in the shooting, according to the criminal complaint.
Jenkins is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is asking for bail of $2.5 million.
Gang crimes targeted
These charges come just one day after federal officials indicted seven men on a series of crimes related to what they describe as a gang war in south Minneapolis between the 10z and 20z gangs.
As with the Saturday night shooting, some of the victims of those gang crimes were innocent bystanders.
In mid-June, a mother and her 15-month old child were shot and wounded as they were walking near Peavey Park, caught in the crossfire of another gang shooting. Both have been treated for their wounds and police arrested a suspect in the case.
At this time last year, there were 19 homicides, WCCO reported, while this year there have been at least 28.