Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Minneapolis recorded another weekend mass shooting at bar close early Saturday morning, marking the fifth mass shooting this month in Minneapolis.

Over 30 vehicles were damaged in a St. Paul fire. (St. Paul Fire Department)

Shots were fired at a Hennepin County deputy early Thursday about 2:30 a.m. on I-94 during the pursuit of suspects who had come out of Brooklyn Center, according to dispatch audio. Further audio indicated that the suspect vehicle, described as a white Ford Fusion, got away after firing the shots. The dispatcher aired that there had been two Shotspotter activations indicating that 10 and six rounds of “full auto” were fired near Lowry Avenue North at the time of the incident. There was also another Shotspotter activation just prior near 51st and Aldrich Avenue North where police found spent casings.

Law enforcement shut down I-94 until about 4:15 a.m. while they collected more evidence of spent casings, according to dispatch audio at the time.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office later provided the following statement:

“At approximately 2:30 am, the Brooklyn Center Police Department responded to reports of armed burglars on the 1100 block of 57th Avenue N in Brooklyn Center. A deputy in the vicinity spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. A pursuit ensued, during which the HCSO squad was struck by gunfire. The deputy was not hurt in the incident. No shots were fired by law enforcement officers during this incident. Investigators with the Hennepin County Crime Lab processed the scenes of the incident. The burglary in Brooklyn Center is being investigated by the Brooklyn Center Police Department. The pursuit and assault on the deputy is being investigated by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.”

Two audio clips which indicated “burst fire” were later posted online and were reported to be the sound of gunfire from the incident.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Thursday announced his office, along with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, had opened a civil investigation against north Minneapolis businesses Merwin Liquors and Winner Gas, which have been the site of recent shootings and other unlawful activity. Both businesses sit at the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and Lyndale Avenue North.

Ellison said in the statement that both locations have been the sites of numerous acts of gun violence, including on Sept. 2, 2022, when four people were shot outside Merwin Liquors, and on Sept. 8, 2022, when four more people were victims of gun violence near Winner Gas.

“The intersection between the two businesses has been described [in media reports] as ‘one of the city’s largest open-air drug bazaars,’” the statement read. Ellison seeks to investigate whether the businesses are “maintaining or permitting an unlawful public nuisance on their properties.”

The investigation is intended to examine what steps, if any, Merwin Liquors and Winner Gas Station are taking to address the repeated, dangerous and unlawful behavior occurring on their premises, Ellison said.

Letters to both businesses from the AG’s office were linked in the announcement. Each letter said, in part, “Numerous sources of information indicate that [Merwin/Winner] has been the site of repeated unlawful use, sale, possession, storage, and delivery of controlled substances, as well as the site of repeated unlawful use or possession of dangerous weapons.”

The letters listed a number of “informal” requests to each business to provide information to the AG’s office, “no later than Sept. 22, 2022,” on complaints they have received and steps they have taken to abate any unlawful activity occurring in the businesses or their parking lots.

The AG’s office is also seeking community input as part of the investigation.

Tiwan Darnell Puller, 31, of St. Paul was charged in Hennepin County Court Thursday in the pedestrian traffic collision death of 21-year-old Alexandra Joyce Renee Perkins of Minneapolis. Puller is charged with criminal vehicular homicide-leaving the scene of a crash.

Alexandra Joyce Renee Perkins (Facebook)

Charges say the crash occurred about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday on West Broadway Avenue from I-94 and that Puller was driving on a revoked license at the time of the crash. Puller first rear-ended a vehicle on I-94 and sped away at about 80 mph and exited onto West Broadway Avenue where he drove through a yellow light and struck Perkins, who “went high in the sky,” Puller later told police. A responding state trooper detected a strong odor of marijuana and alcohol coming from Puller following the crash, and responders found a large bag of marijuana outside the passenger door of the vehicle. Results of a subsequent blood draw were pending at the time of the complaint.

Tiwan Darnell Puller (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Court records show that Puller should have been in prison at the time of the crash, having been convicted in July 2020 on a felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Puller was sentenced to 60 months in prison, but the sentence was stayed in a dispositional downward departure by Ramsey County Judge Joy D. Bartscher. Puller was instead sentenced to six months in local jail and was placed on probation for a term of five years.

Other court records show that Puller has an open case out of Carlton County on charges of DWI and driving after revocation. Puller had been wanted on a warrant since August 2020 for failure to appear at a hearing in the case. Records show the warrant was recalled in June of this year, and Puller made a subsequent court appearance after which he was released on $200 bail.

Puller made a first court appearance on the new charge on Friday and was granted a public defender. Puller remained in custody on $150,000 bail as of noon Monday.

The University of Minnesota posted a safety alert Thursday about “indecent conduct” at Smith Hall about 3:15 p.m. The notice said a victim was using a first floor bathroom when an unknown male took a picture of the victim with a cellphone from under the stall partition. The male suspect may have had a white coat or lab coat and was wearing white tennis shoes.

Edina police responded Friday night to a disturbance and fights at the high school homecoming game during which officers from several surrounding agencies responded to help, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived about 8:45 p.m. and reported a “large group” on a football field. One officer aired that the parties who were fighting were “from YMCA,” where police had been dispatched to another disturbance around 7 p.m., earlier dispatch audio indicated. Police asked for more squads to respond and requested medics to stage nearby. Audio indicated that officers from Bloomington, Richfield and St. Louis Park responded to assist. Officers worked until after 9:30 p.m. to clear the crowd from the property as the football game ended.

Copies of messages reportedly later sent to staff and school families by district superintendent Stacie Stanley were provided to Crime Watch, which confirmed the fights and that additional police resources had responded to the incident. The messages from the superintendent indicated that the agitators were from outside the school district and that they were working to identify to which district they belonged. One message also disputed a rumor that someone had been stabbed and said that police confirmed to the district that there were no stabbings, weapons or serious injuries. Dispatch audio did indicate that a handful of people were seen by medics, including one person who fainted, one who was pregnant and one who had been exposed to mace. No public statements appear to have been issued by either Edina police or the school district about the incident, and there did not appear to be any media reports on the incident as of Monday morning.

A video was later posted on Facebook that was reported to be from the fight. The person who posted the video said it had been submitted to Edina schools and Edina police.

Minneapolis recorded another weekend mass shooting at bar close early Saturday morning, marking the fifth mass shooting this month in Minneapolis in which four or more people have been shot in single gunfire incidents.

Police on site near 4th and Hennepin Avenue aired just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday that gunshots had been fired, according to dispatch audio. The incident was quickly updated to a shooting with a victim reportedly shot in the back. Police called for help to 4th and Hennepin as the crowd became unruly while police were trying to clear the area for EMS to enter. Information was later aired that the approximately 27-year-old victim had been shot at least six times.

Within minutes, another shooting was reported at 8th and Hennepin Avenue. Chaotic dispatch audio indicated that two to three victims were found on site at the time. Other victims self-transported to North Memorial Hospital, according to further audio.

Police later provided information to media stating the six people total had been shot in the two incidents, including four men and two women. At least three of the victims suffered potentially life-threatening injuries, police said. No arrests had been made at the time of the incident.

About an hour later, about 3:20 a.m. Saturday, police reported hearing 10 to 30 shots fired near 3rd and Marquette Avenue. Police responded to the area and found spent bullet casings in the surface parking lot at 3rd and Nicollet Mall.

Photos were later submitted to Crime Watch from a resident who said a .45 caliber bullet came through their window about that time at 270 Hennepin Avenue. No one in the apartment was injured. Dispatch audio confirmed that there was a report of gunfire into an apartment at that location.

The St. Paul Fire Department reported Saturday that they battled an early morning fire involving over 30 vehicles on the 1200 block of Jackson Street (top photo). Access issues slowed suppression efforts, they said, but crews were able to control the fire. The block is the location of an auto auction business. SPFD said no injuries were reported, and the fire remains under investigation.

Over 30 vehicles damaged in St. Paul fire (St. Paul Fire Dept.)

Brooklyn Center police reported that on Saturday afternoon they responded to a traffic complaint about motorcycles racing on the 5300 block of Girard Avenue North. Officers responded to the area and noticed two motorcycles running in the driveway of a residence on that block. One motorcycle came back as a stolen vehicle, and officers attempted to make contact at the residence where one party was seen running into a garage. Eventually someone from inside the residence came out, but not the second party. Additional police resources were called to assist; eventually the second party fled out the rear entrance of the home and was taken into custody by police. Through investigation with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, BCPD said they learned that both motorcycles had been stolen. As a result, the two parties were arrested for being in possession of those stolen vehicles. BCPD said there was a significant police presence in the area during the resolution of the incident. Information on the arrested parties was not immediately available.

A man was shot in the leg in Minneapolis on Saturday just after 1 p.m. near 19th and Nicollet Avenue, according to dispatch audio. The suspect was described over dispatch at the time to be a teen black male with short dreads wearing a blue hoodie and black tennis shoes. It was unclear whether the suspect was located at the time. Further information about the victim’s condition is not known, and no public statement was released by police about the incident.

Two pedestrians were struck by a vehicle in Minneapolis Saturday at 27th and University Avenue Southeast just before 6:30 p.m., according to dispatch audio. Police later told media that the injured parties were a male and female couple in their 70s and they had sustained potentially life-threatening injuries. Police said a vehicle driven by a female in her 20s was turning at the intersection when the victims were struck in the crosswalk. The driver remained on scene and cooperated with police who said they do not believe the driver was impaired.

Police in north Minneapolis aired over dispatch Saturday about 10:20 p.m. that about “100 shots” were being fired near the Fourth Precinct on Plymouth Avenue North, and they indicated it was automatic gunfire. The dispatcher aired a corresponding Shotspotter activation on the 1200 block of James Avenue North. Audio clips were later posted online and were reported to be the sound of shots from the incident, which indicated automatic “burst fire.”

Minneapolis police responded about 10:40 p.m. Saturday to a report that a person had been stabbed on the Stone Arch Bridge, according to dispatch audio. The dispatcher told police that the 911 caller said 20-30 juveniles in ski masks had fled from the area. Further audio indicated that police arrived and found the victim had been stabbed twice. Police arriving on the Second Precinct side of the bridge aired that they detained five Somali male suspects and said they recovered a gun. Jail records show at least one 18-year-old party in custody who had not been charged as of 3 p.m. Monday. Information about the victim’s injuries was not immediately available, and no public statement was released by police about the incident.

Minneapolis recorded its 64th homicide early Sunday morning in the Loring Park neighborhood. Dispatch audio indicated that police arrived near Harmon Place and Maple Street South just before 5:30 a.m. where they found a male victim shot in the heart and femoral artery.

Police later released a statement that said a 28-year-old male had died as a result of the shooting that stemmed from a verbal altercation at an “unlicensed after-hours party at the address” of 1618 Harmon Place. No arrests had been made at the time.

Brooklyn Park police reported Sunday that two residences on the 8200 block of Yates Avenue North were damaged by gunshots. Residents of one home reported to police that earlier in the morning, at about 6 a.m., they were awakened by a loud noise but were unaware of the cause. Several hours later, they found damage inside the residence from what appeared to be a bullet that entered from the outside. At the time of the incident, the room which sustained the damage had been occupied by two sleeping children. Officers canvassed the neighborhood and found a neighboring residence had also sustained gunshot damage. No injuries were reported at either residence. Hennepin County crime scene investigators processed the scene and recovered evidence of gunshots. No suspects were located at the time of the report, and the incident is still under investigation, police said.

Around Minnesota

The Mayo Clinic and several schools and institutions in Mankato were placed on a lockdown Friday morning as police responded to a shooting in a nearby neighborhood. The incident unfolded around 9 a.m. on the 100 block of Echo Street. A shelter-in-place alert was posted for those nearby at about 9:45 a.m. by the city on behalf of Mankato Public Safety.

Bashir Abdirashid Mohamed (City of Mankato)

Just before 2 p.m., the city provided a photo and statement which said Mankato Public Safety was seeking the public’s help in reporting the whereabouts of the alleged suspect, Bashir Mohamed, age 30, who they said should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

The suspect and victim were believed to be known to each other. The shooting victim was transported to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

Jail records show that Mohamed was booked into Blue Earth County Jail on Saturday after 5 p.m. on a probable cause charge of second-degree assault. A formal charge is expected this week.

Mohamed was just convicted earlier this month in Blue Earth County on a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault. Other charges of felony first-degree burglary and gross misdemeanor domestic assault were dismissed at sentencing by recently-appointed Judge Andrea Lieser. Mohamed was sentenced to 58 days of time already served in the case. Other court records show that Mohamed has at least two other open cases including felony charges of fleeing police and narcotics, as well as DWI, open bottle, damage to property and tampering with a fire alarm system.

Dustin Gene Tinklenberg, 42, was charged Friday in Kanabec County with second-degree murder in the hatchet death of his grandmother at her Ogilvie home. According to charges, authorities were called to the home of 92-year-old Stella Anderson on Sept. 13 after a relative arrived to help with chores and found a gruesome scene. Responders entered the home and found a “clearly deceased” female on the couch. The complaint describes that Anderson’s face was “severely deformed” by a large, deep laceration, and her nose had been cut from her face and placed on a blanket on her chest.

Dustin Gene Tinklenberg (Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office)

Two relatives who were at the property the night prior to retrieve items from a camper told police they had heard what sounded like shouting coming from the residence. Once in their vehicle, the pair then observed Tinklenberg on the deck and he appeared to be upset with clenched fists and yelling at something.

Police eventually located Tinklenberg at a former partner’s house and he was taken into custody. Tinklenberg told police in a statement that he is homeless and occasionally stays with his grandmother. Tinklenberg emotionally stated to police that he was sexually assaulted by Anderson when he was a young child and said that she continually harasses him and takes advantage of him. Tinklenberg expressed to police that he thought drones were following him around and that he believed he was under observation. He also said that surgeries had been performed on him that he didn’t recall taking place. He lifted his shirt to show investigators the scars, but none were observed.

Tinklenberg made his initial court appearance on Friday and remains in custody on $2 million bail.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.


Crime Watch MN

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.