Twin Cities weekend crime incident recap

Minneapolis police responded to two homicides within hours of each other Saturday night to early Sunday.

Police respond to a shooting and melee at 1721 University Ave. SE. (Photo submitted to Crime Watch Minneapolis)

Downtown Minneapolis police were dispatched at about 10:37 a.m. Friday on a report of a shooting on the 800 block of Hennepin Avenue. Police arrived and said the victim was shot in the back in a possible attempted robbery, according to police dispatch audio. Police eventually learned that the suspect may have entered an apartment building on the 700 block of North 1st Avenue. Police entered the building and engaged in negotiations with the suspect to exit the apartment unit. A female eventually came out and told police that the male had a gun in the apartment. The male suspect eventually came out of the apartment and was detained at about 1 p.m. The suspect was named on dispatch, and jail records show Robert Taylor, 49, was booked on probable cause first-degree assault. Taylor was charged on Monday with felony counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and felon in possession of a firearm. Taylor remained in custody Monday on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to make a first court appearance on Tuesday.

Another gunshot victim showed up at North Memorial after 11 a.m. Friday shot in the leg. The victim told authorities it happened at 8th and Hennepin Avenue, according to dispatch audio. It’s unclear if both gunshot victims were from the same incident, and no official statement was released by police about the incident or the victims.

Cottage Grove police on Friday announced that an arrest had been made related to a series of burglaries of occupied homes that morning in their city and Woodbury. Police said the 24-year-old suspect from Plymouth allegedly took purses and electronics after apparently entering homes through unlocked screen doors. A resident in the area gave police a high-quality image of the suspect, and police worked with Woodbury and Minneapolis police partners and tracked the suspect to Minneapolis, where he was arrested. CGPD said they are working to ID anyone else who may have been involved. Booking records show a 24-year-old male in custody on probable cause first-degree burglary. The suspect has a prior history of first-degree burglary convictions.

A Minneapolis police officer working off-duty Friday called out over the air just before 4 p.m. that shots had been fired near Winner Gas Station at 626 West Broadway Avenue. Responding officers found an apparent gunshot victim in front of Merwin Liquors across the street. Police initially told the dispatcher that the victim was refusing medical services and had walked away from them. Police also stated that a utility box and a Metro Transit bus shelter on the north side of Broadway Avenue had been struck by gunfire. Police collected several spent shell casings from the area. One officer who reviewed video of the incident said that the shooter was a back passenger of a vehicle who was hanging out the window firing shots into the Winner Gas parking lot. The dispatcher stated that the suspect vehicle, described as a newer white Jetta with silver rims, had previously been reported stolen. No official statement was released by police about the incident or the potential victim.

St. Paul recorded its 19th homicide for the year on Friday. Police reported that they were conducting a welfare check on a resident at a senior living apartment building on the 700 block of East Seventh Street just before 7 p.m. Police found the man, believed to be in his late 50s, deceased inside the apartment. Initially, it was unclear to the officers whether the injury was self-inflicted or caused by someone else, but after members of the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office and their forensic services unit responded and gathered more information and evidence, it became clear that someone had shot the man, they said. SPPD updated on Sunday that an arrest had been made in the case. Bernadette Devlin Draughn, 49, of St. Paul was arrested in Minneapolis on the 1500 block of Chicago Avenue. She remains in custody on probable cause murder. The victim has since been identified as Leonardo Bedell, 59, of St. Paul.

Minneapolis police responded Friday just after 10 p.m. to a report of a shooting near the 3700 block of Penn Avenue North. Police had initially been dispatched to a 10-round Shotspotter activation in the same area. While en route, the dispatcher informed officers that there was a two-vehicle crash at the location and that multiple people were reportedly firing shots at each other. Police arrived at the location to look for victims and were informed that a gunshot victim from the location had been privately transported in a BMW to the hospital. A deputy told the dispatcher that the victim was shot in the buttocks. One officer told the dispatcher that the driver of the BMW had been shot at the same location on Thursday. Initial reports indicated that there may have been more victims in the Friday incident, but it’s unclear whether any others were found. No official statement was released by police about the incident or any other potential victims. A clip of gunshot audio purported to be from the incident was later posted online.

A 15-year-old boy was found shot on frat row near the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis just after midnight Saturday at a multi-unit residence that has been the source of several violent incidents in the last few months. Minneapolis police and officers from the University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety responded to a report of fights and a large disturbance stemming from 1721 University Avenue Southeast. When officers arrived, they reported shots had been fired from the address, and a police help call was toned by the dispatcher. A chaotic scene played out as several officers responded, according to dispatch audio at the time. The 15-year-old gunshot victim was found in the back yard of the address shot in the leg. Police later said that the injury was believed to be non-critical.

Several video clips were later posted online which showed the chaotic scene from several angles. One video showed several people fleeing down an alley on the 1800 block of University Avenue Southeast while a barrage of gunfire could be heard taking place for nearly 40 seconds. One person in the crowd stopped to fire several shots down a side alley toward 18th Avenue Southeast.

The residence was taped off as a crime scene, and dispatch audio indicated that police were trying to obtain a search warrant at the time. Police at the time stated that a suspect vehicle was found on 18th Avenue Southeast, and it was ordered towed and held for inspection by forensics investigators. Police later said that no arrests had been made.

Following the incident, a U of M parents’ group posted information stating that the Board of Regents would be holding an online meeting of the Finance & Operations Committee on Thursday, June 9, at which time they would be receiving a report about the property and addressing the current eviction process and next steps.

Robbinsdale police requested the public’s help on Saturday in helping locate a man who had gone missing. Police said Tysior Civ, 39, was last seen at his residence on Tuesday, May 31 around 7:30 p.m. as he went for a walk and had not returned nor been in contact with family. Civ left home without his wallet or cellphone and his direction of travel was unknown. He was last seen wearing a blue/light gray T-shirt and blue shorts. Police said Civ takes medication for some health issues and might become confused without his medication. Police indicated Saturday afternoon that a search with cadaver dogs was being conducted in the area of 42nd and Regent Avenue North but did not directly say the search was related to Civ. Police asked that anyone with security cameras check footage from May 31 at 7:30 p.m. to June 2 at midnight.

Brooklyn Park police on Saturday at about 1:20 p.m. responded to a report of shots fired on the 8400 block of Yates Avenue North. Police believe the suspects fled in an unknown vehicle. Spent shell casings were located by police and there was damage to a nearby residence. No injuries were immediately reported. Police say the incident remains under investigation.

Columbia Heights police were dispatched on Saturday at about 7:50 p.m. to a report of shots fired inside an apartment building on the 4700 block of Central Avenue Northeast in Hilltop. There were reported to be multiple shooters and one possibly had a long gun. A large number of law enforcement resources responded to the area including a K9 unit and a State Patrol helicopter. No victims were found at the scene, but police did find spent casings, blood and evidence of shots fired inside the building, according to dispatch audio. A long gun and a handgun were also reportedly recovered from a suspect vehicle. The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office later released a statement saying that a gunshot victim had shown up to an area hospital with injuries consistent with information they had about the incident. The victim was reported to be in stable condition. ACSO also stated that one suspect had been arrested from inside a vehicle that had left the scene. Information on the suspect or potential charges was not immediately available.

Brooklyn Park police were dispatched Saturday at about 9:21 p.m. to a report of shots being fired on the 5800 block of 73rd Avenue North. Officers canvased the area and located evidence of several shots fired. Two unoccupied vehicles were damaged due to the gunfire. No victims or suspects were located at the time. Police said all potential witness were uncooperative with officers on scene. Officers assisted security in disbursing a large group from the area. The incident remains under investigation.

Brooklyn Park police reported to Minneapolis dispatch Saturday at about 11:10 p.m. that they were out with a shooting victim on the 6300 block of Zane Avenue North. Police initially relayed that the victim said they were shot at 36th and Penn Avenue North. A Minneapolis dispatcher later told officers that the incident location had been updated to 44th and Penn Avenue North and that the victim was being transported to North Memorial hospital. Just prior to the shooting report, an MPD dispatcher aired that there had been reports of shots fired at 43rd and Penn Avenue North and that the 911 caller reported that it sounded like automatic gunfire. Minneapolis police responded to the location and found “a bunch of casings” at the intersection, according to dispatch audio.

BPPD later released a statement about the incident saying officers located an adult male victim in the street with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Officers rendered medical aid and the male was transported to the hospital by paramedics. BPPD officers said they learned that the victim had been shot in Minneapolis and drove himself to Brooklyn Park before calling 911. Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded and MPD is handling the investigation, they said. The Minneapolis Police Department did not release an official statement on the shooting incident.

Minneapolis police responded to two homicides within hours of each other Saturday night to early Sunday. In the first, a man was found shot just before 10 p.m. on the 2600 block of Cedar Avenue, near the Little Earth housing complex. Dispatch audio at the time stated that a black vehicle was seen leaving the area at “100 mph” down Cedar Avenue. Police arrived and began CPR on the victim who was indicated in dispatch audio as an approximately 25-year-old male who had been shot in the back and groin. Police later updated that a male in his late 20s had died as a result of the shooting. No suspects were reported to be in custody at the time. The death was Minneapolis’ 37th homicide this year.

A second male died in a separate shooting a few hours later on Sunday at about 12:30 a.m. near the 1400 block of Willow Street, adjacent to the east side of Loring Park. Police in the area had reported hearing shots fired just prior to the shooting report. Police later updated that a male in his 30s had died as a result of his injuries, making it the 38th homicide for Minneapolis this year. No arrests had been made at the time, police said.

Thomas Christian Welle / Dakota County Jail

West St. Paul police responded Saturday around 11:30 p.m. to a report on the 200 block of Hurley Street East that a resident had started a fire inside the house. The dispatcher told police that one resident in the house was refusing to come out and was reported to be violent. Police arrived to find visible smoke at the residence and said everyone was out and accounted for, according to dispatch audio. A short time later, police indicated that one person was being placed under arrest. Jail records show that Thomas Christian Welle, 34, was booked into custody on probable cause felony counts of first-degree arson and fourth degree assault of a police officer involving the throwing or transfer of bodily fluids, and a misdemeanor count of fifth degree assault. Welle remained in custody as of Monday.

Minneapolis police responded Sunday at about 3:47 a.m. to a report of a shooting on the 2300 block of Emerson Avenue North, according to police dispatch audio. The shooting had been preceded by several Shotspotter activations, the dispatcher said. No information about the victim was immediately available, and the Minneapolis Police Department did not release an official statement on the shooting incident. An audio clip of shots fired was posted online that was purported to be from the incident.

Minneapolis police dispatch aired Sunday at about 4 a.m. that a stabbing victim had shown up at Fairview Riverside hospital. No other information was immediately available.

Two men in St. Cloud were injured in a shooting Sunday at Haws Park, KVSC reported. Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton said officers were called to the park, located in the 800 block of 13th Street South, where they found people leaving the park in vehicles and on foot. Police learned that one shot had been fired during an altercation between several people near the basketball court and that one person may have been hit. The suspect had fled before police arrived. A short time later two men showed up at the St. Cloud Hospital’s emergency room. A 21-year-old man from St. Cloud was wounded in his buttocks and a 28-year-old man, also from St. Cloud, had a minor grazing wound to his arm. Police are investigating the shooting and it is not believed to be a random incident, they said.

Minneapolis police responded Sunday at about 8:10 p.m. to a report that a worker had been shot in the leg at E & L Supermarket & Deli at 1122 Lowry Avenue North. A responding officer told the dispatcher that shots had been fired from an older tan Lincoln that was traveling westbound on Lowry. Dispatch audio indicated that a 48-year-old male had been shot in the lower leg. No official statement was released by police about the incident.

Minneapolis police were informed Sunday at about 8:45 p.m. that a three-year-old child had been received at North Memorial Health Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Initial dispatch audio indicated the incident occurred on the 2300 block of Sheridan Avenue North. A search of a residence on the block was subsequently executed by investigators. Police later released information stating that the child received life-threatening injuries but was in stable condition. Police said no arrests had been made as of Sunday night, and few other details were released about the circumstances of the shooting.

Law enforcement officers in the area of White Bear Lake initiated a pursuit of a vehicle Sunday just before 10:30 p.m. for erratic driving conduct, according to police dispatch audio. During the pursuit, an officer aired that an occupant of the vehicle had fired shots at the squad. The officer was not reported to be injured. The pursuit continued on Hwy. 96 with two occupants eventually bailing from the vehicle in the area of Birch Lake Parkway, just east of 35E in the city of White Bear Lake. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter assisted in the apprehension of the two suspects, and officers on scene requested a Spanish interpreter to the site. Police also conducted a search and eventually recovered a firearm that had been thrown by one of the suspects. Jail records show Pablo Navajaimes, 30, of Minneapolis was booked into custody on three felony counts of probable cause fourth degree assault, fleeing police, and narcotics. An official statement on the incident was not located.

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