Wednesday, May 03, 2006

1st Minneapolis Murder Of The Day

The "Grafitti Murder" is the first of two (so far; the day isn't over) Minneapolis murders today. There is much reporting on this story. I'll start with a police dispatch from the SAFE Unit at 1543 hours:

SAFE 5.2: Information for residents on a Homicide in 3rd Pct

I don’t have any further information on this incident.

“This morning at approximately 10:15am HCMC reported that a male gun shot victim had been brought in by an acquaintance. The 19 year old male victim was treated but died as a result of his injuries. Police were called and responded to the area near Corcoran Park to 2000 E 34th St where it is believed the shooting occurred. Police had information that an individual who had come from this location may have been involved in the shooting. Information was received that the victim and his acquaintance may have been involved in some graffiti just before the shooting occurred. Police surrounded the house and entry was made. No one was located inside the home. MPD homicide is investigating this case aggressively. We believe this was an isolated incident and not part of any larger pattern. MPD is looking for anyone with information on this case or who may have observed anything in the area this morning at approximately 10:15am. Please call 612-673-2941 if you have any information.

MPD will try and increase our presence in the neighborhood in the immediate future. No other information is available for public release at this time.”

Inspector Scott Gerlicher
Commander- Minneapolis Police
Third Precinct
Fax: 612-370-3880
Then an update at 1833 hours:


At 10:17 AM, Hennepin County Medical Center contacted Minneapolis Police regarding a shooting victim that had arrived by private vehicle. Responding officers obtained information that the shooting happened at 2000 E. 34th Street. Apparently, two males were spray painting graffiti on the front of that residence when another male came out of the duplex with a gun. At least one shot was fired, which struck one of the two males who were spray painting the graffiti. The two males entered a vehicle which was driven to HCMC. A 19-year old male died at HCMC from an apparent gunshot wound.

Members of the Minneapolis Police Department's SWAT Unit entered the duplex located at 2000 E. 34th Street at approximately 2:15 PM. No one was found in the duplex. Police are now investigating this as a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Department's TIPS Line @ 612-692-8477.
KSTP Eyewitness News also has a report: "Teen arrested in graffiti murder"

Police have arrested a 17-year-old in a murder that occurred Tuesday in the Corcoran neighborhood of south Minneapolis.

The Hispanic male was arrested at approximately 5:45 Tuesday afternoon. He was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped because it was known to frequent the house where the shooting occurred.

The two teens were spraying gang graffiti on the outside of a house at 2000 E. 34 th St. They drove themselves to Hennepin County Medical Center, where one teen died.

Police surrounded the house after the shooting and blocked off nearby streets, but were unable to locate anyone inside the home.
Now I might be a little slow here, but it seems unclear to me whether the person arrested was one of the grafitti vandals, or the shooter, or what. The arrestee has some connection to the house that was tagged, it appears, but the connection was not clarified. In fairness, this is a hot story and maybe no one knows who they have yet.

The Red Star actually has more details at this time: "Man killed in graffiti shooting in south Minneapolis".

The 19-year-old homicide victim and another man were spraying red, gang-related graffiti on the home in the 2000 block of E. 34th Street when a male emerged, exchanged words with them and then fired, police said. The 19-year-old was taken by his accomplice to Hennepin County Medical Center with a gunshot wound about 10:15 a.m. and later died.
The thug life is a dead end, as this young gangster discovered.

A 17-year-old male suspect was arrested about 5:45 p.m. in a car with four other people in the 2800 block of 17th Avenue S., but police weren't saying what role he might have played in the case. The others in the car were being questioned but weren't arrested.
It's still not clear on which side the 17 year old was on, although I suspect the authorities have cast a wide dragnet.

Bad timing for the Mayor (hasn't he stepped down yet?):

The homicide happened about three hours before Mayor R.T. Rybak and interim Police Chief Tim Dolan presented the "Safe City" initiative to City Council members. The main goals of the summer crime strategy are to reduce homicides and robberies.
So a homeowner confronts graffiti vandals and shoots one of them. I'm certainly not going to rush to judgement and will wait for more facts to come out, but doesn't this set of facts introduce somewhat of a dilemma? Think Bernie Goetz. Whatever the outcome, graffitti vandals are punks.

Capt. Rich Stanek said the graffiti on the duplex was related to American Indian gangs but would not specify which one. A handful of teenagers who live nearby said the graffiti was clearly targeting the Hispanic gang, the Surenos 13.

Joseph Libby said one of the words sprayed in red across the duplex is commonly known as a "dirty word" slandering the Surenos 13 gang.

Capt. Mike Martin, coordinator of the Safe City initiative, said police have put steps in place to prevent retaliation for the killing. The state's Gang Strike Force is developing a strategy based on the incident and the individuals involved, he said.
Graffitti vandals, gangs, robbers, murderers - Minneapolis has it all.

Read on for a report on the 2nd murder of the day in Minneapolis.