MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two people were killed and eight more were wounded, one seriously, in a shooting in downtown Minneapolis early Saturday, police said.
Police spokesperson John Elder said the gunfire stemmed from two men in a crowd who got into an argument near the Monarch nightclub, pulled out guns and started shooting, KMSP-TV reported.
No arrests were immediately announced.
Five men and five women were shot, the police department said in a series of tweets. Two of the men died and another man was hospitalized in critical condition, police said. The other seven had injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
It was not the only shooting in the city overnight, the Star Tribune reported. Five people were shot in separate incidents. One of them later died.
The latest deaths brought the city’s homicide total to 31 for 2021.
“Last night again brought tragic news,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement Saturday. “Again, our collective conscience is shocked.”
“These outcomes are not fated,” he said. “We can stem crime in our city, but it will take all of us coming together with a renewed commitment to preventative work and a shared resolve to stop the gun violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Gun-related homicides in midsized and large American cities have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and criminologists believe coronavirus-related socioeconomic loss in many communities is driving that trend. A study by the Council on Criminal Justice tracked a 30% increase in homicides overall in a sample of 34 U.S. cities in 2020 as well as an 8% increase in gun assaults.
Frey and other city leaders have come under pressure to reform the city’s police department and promote racial justice and healing since the death of George Floyd almost a year ago. The Black man died after then- Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground for about 9 1/2 minutes.
Floyd’s death led to protests in Minneapolis and nationwide calling for policing reform and an end to discrimination by officers.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter, and three other officers await trial on aiding and abetting charges. The four also face federal charges of violating Floyd’s civil rights, and the police department is the focus of federal and state investigations into its practices.
Frey’s proposals include prioritizing funding for more cameras in high-crime areas, and he wants to address disparities in traffic stops by committing to end stops for low-level offenses, such as a busted taillight.