Plea to end gun violence after string of fatal shootings in Minneapolis

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After a bloody month in Minneapolis, pleas to end gun violence were made by activists rallying at the intersection where two people were killed at the weekend.

MPR reports that several members of community group Minnesota Acts Now held placards aloft at the corner of Franklin and Chicago Avenues Monday led by Pastor Harding Smith, as they prayed for the two men slain on Saturday night.

"If you are out there, you have lost a loved one due to gun violence, please, we are begging you, don't take the law into your own hands," Smith said, according to the news station.

The killings on Chicago and Franklin were among several shootings over the weekend – with another man killed in North Minneapolis and two injured in Dinkytown and downtown Minneapolis.

The three deaths bring the total number of homicides in the city to 29 this year, KSTP reports, a rise of 44 percent over the 19 that had happened in the same period last year.

KSTP found that police had been called to the area around Peavey Park – near where Saturday's double killing happened – more than 100 times since the start of the year. In June, a mother and 15-month-old daughter were injured by stray bullets walking through the park.

Earlier this month, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges pledged an eight extra police officers would patrol North Minneapolis following a rash of shootings a few weeks ago, in addition to a gang crime unit set up to tackle summer gun violence.

Pastor Smith said that there is a need to "change the ideology" that makes it seem "that it's okay to take the law into your own hands," the TV station said. He also told the Star Tribune that many of the shootings are carried out by people retaliating to other violence.

Heather Martens, of gun violence prevention group Protect Minnesota, called for stricter access to guns, the newspaper notes.

The weekend's shootings

  • 4th St. N. and 1st Ave., downtown Minneapolis, 3 a.m. Saturday: An armed suspect is shot and injured while fleeing a police officer.
  • 14th Ave. SE. and 4th St. SE., Dinkytown, Saturday morning: Altercation between people in parked cars and pedestrians on sidewalk. Shot fired by one of the drivers, one woman struck in the arm. WCCO has more.
  • Franklin and Chicago: 10:20 p.m. Saturday. Two men found with gunshot wounds, both die in the hospital. No arrests have been made at this time, FOX 9 says.
  • 34th and Morgan avenues, North Minneapolis, early Monday morning: One man found dead in the street, another presented themselves at North Memorial Medical Center with a gunshot wound, KARE 11 reports.

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