Twin Cities weekend crime recap

A recap of the weekend's biggest crimes from Crime Watch Minneapolis.

A July 16 crime scene at North 1st Avenue and North 5th Street, Minneapolis (Phillip I. Murphy)

Minneapolis police shot and killed an armed suspect early Thursday morning after a 6-hour standoff which began after the suspect allegedly fired shots from inside his apartment into an adjacent apartment of a young mother and her two children. The incident unfolded just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after 911 received a report of shots fired inside an apartment on the 900 block of 21st Avenue South, in the Seward neighborhood. A chaotic scene erupted as police encountered gunfire from an active shooter when they arrived, according to dispatch audio.

The mother and children were able to escape uninjured, and the apartment building was evacuated by police. An MPD statement indicated several attempts were made to engage the suspect, Andrew Tekle Sundberg, 20, in negotiations before he was shot by police snipers about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency in charge of the investigation, has released few details about what led to up to the shooting so far. However, a statement was released naming the two officers involved in the shooting, and the BCA asked for the public’s help from any bystanders who may have recorded video. Sundberg’s family has since hired civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Jeff Storms.

St. Paul police on Thursday asked for the public’s help in locating two dogs that had gone missing following an overnight burglary at a dog daycare business on the 1900 block of University Avenue West. SPPD updated on Friday morning that one dog had been found running loose by concerned citizens in Minneapolis near Bde Maka Ska and was reunited with its owners. The second dog was found Saturday morning by railroad workers in St. Paul and reunited with its owners. Police continue to investigate the burglary and ask anyone with information to call police at 651-266-5574.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher on Thursday posted an update on the Hennepin County juvenile crime spree he detailed a week earlier. Fletcher stated that the juveniles, who had been released to their parents the week prior following a multi-city crime spree, continued their crime spree this past week. In one incident, two of the juveniles were seen stealing from the Speedway Gas Station at 47th and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. They ran to a blue Kia that they had stolen earlier and attempted to flee by ramming a Minneapolis police squad car. The juveniles were arrested again — and released to their parents again, Fletcher said. One of the suspects was arrested again Thursday morning by Edina police after he rammed one of their squad cars with a stolen vehicle from Brooklyn Park.

St. Paul police on Friday reported that a man stabbed on Wednesday in the city’s 22nd homicide had been identified as Sylvester T. Cain, 38, from Chicago. A statement by SPPD said that police responded to the 100 block of Bates Avenue after a 911 call about a stabbing at a residence. Aid was rendered and the victim was transported to the hospital but died on Thursday. No suspects had been arrested at the time, and police said the case remains under investigation.

Brooklyn Park police reported that they responded Friday at 2:40 a.m. to a report of shots heard on the 8100 block of Douglas Court. Officers checked the area and located a male in Hamilton Park armed with a handgun and evidence of spent shell casings nearby. The male was arrested on several weapon related offenses. There were no reports of injuries or property damage at the time.

Records show that 22-year-old Maalik Ul Mulk Harut of Brooklyn Park has been charged with a felony count of reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality. Harut remained in custody on $20,000 bail as of 2 p.m. Monday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday. A mugshot was not immediately available.

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office announced on Friday that a second man had been charged in relation to an Apple Valley shootout that left 49-year-old Michelle McGill dead on July 10. McGill suffered 10 gunshots and was killed after being caught in the middle of a gunfight between her son and her ex-boyfriend. McGill’s ex, Willie John Selmon II, 39, and Billy Joe Pryor, Jr., 25, McGill’s son, have each been charged with second-degree assault. Selmon has also been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, and Pryor has also been charged with possession of a firearm without a permit. Both suspects were injured by gunfire in the exchange. The case remains under investigation, and charges related to the murder of McGill are expected, said Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena.

A six-year-old child was killed in Brooklyn Center Friday when a homicide suspect fleeing police in a pursuit struck another vehicle carrying five people. Hakeem Waheed Muhammad, 28, who was wanted on a felony warrant in the April murder of Devan Trevon Dampier, 29, in Minneapolis, was apprehended at the scene following the crash. The crash occurred about 4:40 p.m. near 53rd and Humboldt Avenue North. Prior to the crash, police had tried to use a tire-deflation device to keep the suspect vehicle from fleeing, but the device failed to immobilize the vehicle.

Several others in the vehicle struck by Muhammed were injured, including a 15-year-old girl who remained hospitalized with lacerations to her kidney and liver, according to the family’s GoFundMe page. Another 9-year-old child reportedly suffered a broken collarbone, the family said. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash and said Saturday that Muhammed remained hospitalized at the time.

Community activist Lisa Clemons identified the six-year-old child who died as “Blessings,” who Clemons said was a special needs child with a family that had rallied around her since birth.

Minneapolis tallied at least 10 shooting victims over the weekend, including eight in less than 24 hours from Friday to Saturday afternoon. Most of the following information was gathered from police dispatch audio. No public statements were offered by MPD on most of the incidents.

  1. Friday about 4:50 p.m., police were dispatched to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis at 90 Hennepin Avenue for a report of a gunshot victim at the loading dock. A male victim was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the back, according to dispatch audio. It was later reported that the victim had been a 19-year-old window washer working at a building across the alley from the Federal Reserve. A police spokesman reportedly said the victim had been interacting with occupants of a vehicle. At some point he left the vehicle and shots were fired. The victim was last reported to be in critical condition. No suspect information was offered by police.
  2. Friday about 7:30 p.m. at 14th and Nicollet Avenue. The victim was eventually found by police inside a vehicle in front of the Convention Center. The 33-year-old male was transported to the hospital by EMS with a graze wound to the forehead.
  3. Friday about 10 p.m. at Lowry Avenue North and Girard Avenue North. A 34-year-old male was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm.
  4. Friday after 10 p.m., a gunshot victim showed up at the hospital who told police they were shot at 35th and Emerson Avenue North. A Shotspotter activation was aired by dispatch for the location, indicating 31 rounds had been fired around 9:45 p.m. Information about the victim’s injuries was not made available. An audio recording purported to be the shots from the incident was later posted online, indicating automatic burst gunfire.

5, 6, 7. Saturday about 3:14 a.m., police in downtown Minneapolis called out that shots had been fired on North 1st Avenue and North 5th Street. Three people were eventually reported to be shot, including two females and one male. A chaotic scene was indicated over dispatch audio in which police aired “a lot of rounds” had been fired. An EMS rig that had been in the area of 5th and Hennepin on an unrelated injury call aired at 3:15 a.m. that they had to leave the area because “there were a lot of shots fired, probably about 40 rounds, 50 at least,” the responder said.

Two of the shooting victims had been found inside Pizza La Vista on North 1st Avenue. The male victim was initially reported to have been loaded into a private vehicle and was later located at the hospital. The two women were later reported to have non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, and the male was later reported to be in stable condition.

Police were at the scene of the shootings and shots fired at or near the Loop Parking lot until after 7 a.m. Saturday where at least two vehicles damaged by gunfire were towed from the scene.

Local photographer Phillip Murphy later posted photos online after documenting the aftermath. Photos showed numerous bullet holes in buildings, shattered windows, blood spatter and bloody debris that had been left behind. Murphy said he observed bullet holes in the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, the Mayo building, Target Center and Butler Square.

No public statement was issued by police on this triple shooting with dozens of rounds reportedly fired. The incident garnered very little media attention and hadn’t been reported on by the Star Tribune as of 1 p.m. on Monday.

8. Saturday about 3:08 p.m., police responded to 21st and Bryant Avenue North on a report of a possible shooting where a male was down and “bleeding out.” Dispatch audio indicated that a male was transported from the scene to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the neck. Responders aired that he had suffered major blood loss. No further information was made available about the victim’s condition.

9, 10. Sunday about 5:09 p.m., police responded to a report of shots fired near 19th and Nicollet Avenue. A victim was eventually found in the alley near the location and was reported to be shot in the foot. The victim told police that he’d been shot in a drive-by shooting by black males in ski masks in a black Chrysler 300. One of the occupants of the suspect vehicle was later reported to have carjacked a woman nearby at 19th and Stevens Avenue. After 6 p.m., the dispatcher aired that another shooting victim had shown up at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The dispatcher initially indicated that it could be related, but confirmation wasn’t immediately available.

Brooklyn Park police reported on Saturday that they had assisted Anoka County law enforcement in apprehending a suspect that had just been involved in a shooting/shots fired incident. The apprehension took place about 8:47 a.m. in the area of Hwy 610 and 252. The statement said an officer from Anoka County utilized a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to immobilize the suspect vehicle. The suspect then fled on foot toward area businesses. A Brooklyn Park police officer pursued the suspect on foot, and officers were able to intercept the fleeing suspect and place him under arrest. The adult male suspect was turned over to the Blaine Police Department for transport/processing related to the new offenses and prior outstanding arrest warrants. No injuries were reported to the Brooklyn Park Police Department. The Blaine Police Department is the primary investigating agency for this incident, BPPD said. Information about the original incident and arrested party information was not immediately available from Anoka County.

A 17-year-old male was shot in Brooklyn Center Sunday. Responders were dispatched to an apartment building on the 200 block of 65th Avenue North just after 1 p.m. on a report of a shooting, according to dispatch audio. A suspect vehicle was reported to be a red Jeep that fled on Hwy. 252. Further audio stated the juvenile victim had been transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the forearm. Responders aired that the shooting may have been domestic related and transpired following an argument between several people. A subsequent search and surveillance for suspects occurred at an address in north Minneapolis, according to audio. Two juvenile suspects were eventually detained after they left the address in a vehicle, but the search continued into the afternoon for additional suspects. Additional information about the shooting and suspects was not immediately available, and no public statement was released by police about the incident.

St. Paul police reported late Sunday that a fatal two-vehicle crash had occurred about 10 p.m. near Forest Street North and Magnolia Avenue East. Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher later posted that a 70-year-old woman had been killed in the incident by a reckless driver in a stolen Kia Sportage. Fletcher said that the vehicle had been stolen earlier from Nokomis Avenue in Minneapolis, and police had received reports earlier in the day about the vehicle driving recklessly. Following the crash, several parties fled from the scene on foot. Fletcher urged anyone with information about the suspects to come forward. The woman killed was identified on Monday as Phoua Hang, 70, of St. Paul.

The City of Minnetonka on Sunday released a statement saying that Assistant Fire Chief Jim Flanders, 59, had passed away Saturday, July 16, after being found unresponsive during a medical emergency. The statement said Flanders served for many years as assistant chief of emergency medical services and emergency management.

“My heart is broken for Jim’s family and our fire family. Losing one of our brothers is devastating,” said Minnetonka Fire Chief John Vance. “He was always at his post helping our community prepare for and deal with emergencies.”

His fellow city employees thought so much of his work and dedication they named him the 2021 recipient of the Spirit of Minnetonka Award, the statement said.

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