Sunday, September 27, 2009

At Least One Shot Dead Near Hawthorn Crossings Strip Mall...

Photo By John Hoff OR Alex Hoff, photographer can't be determined

A black male in his late teens was laying dead on the sidewalk directly in front of Hawthorn Crossings strip mall, a location notorious for constant drug dealing in the parking lot, frequently the subject of this blog in prior posts, click here and also here for examples. Two young black females were seen kneeling by the body, tenderly touching his face. The rest of the man's body was covered by a heavy gray blanket. Later, one of the women was seen to be placed in a squad car at the scene after talking with police.

A green Tahoe-like vehicle was seen stopped at the drive through window of the nearby Burger King, with a pair of sandal-like shoes several feet from the vehicle. Police appeared to mark the shoes as evidence and mark other items near the shoes, possibly blood or shell casings. Rumors and even eyewitness accounts were circulated freely among the large crowd gathered at the scene. WORD ON THE STREET ABOUT HOW THE INCIDENT WENT DOWN was as follows...

People had been arguing and a fight broke out. The argument was apparently somewhat mobile. One individual claimed it started near the former location of the "butt fence" at Merwin's Liquor. The individual who was later shot was reportedly getting beat up as part of the arguing and fight. The shooter was there at the fight, but left.

A short while later, the shooter came back and appeared from near the rear of Burger King on West Broadway. He had a t-shirt pulled up over his face. Shots were fired. The individual seen dead on the sidewalk was not shot where he lay, but apparently shot near the green Tahoe-like vehicle and ran or staggered to an area directly in front of the Hawthorn Crossings strip mall sign, on the sidewalk near shrubbery, which would be the intersection of W. Broadway and Bryant Ave. N.

A police officer at the scene was observed pleading with the crowd for somebody to come forward if they had information. Nobody was seen to come forward, though there was clearly at least one woman in the crowd who had been giving an eyewitness account to a bystander only moments before. Later, an employee from the strip mall who claimed to have witnessed the events from a distance said the shooter had long ago been taken into custody and was in a squad car near the body.

A persistent rumor circulated that in addition to the dead man on the sidewalk, that a female--possibly his girlfriend--had been shot and injured. An even more troubling rumor circulated that a 2-year-old child was dead in the shooting. If so, the child's body was nowhere to be seen but the rumor caused what can only be described as fury and near-panic among some members of the crowd. I saw the rumor arrive via cellphone to one of the bystanders in the crowd.

Numerous police were at the scene as well as a crime scene van and an area of a couple blocks was roped off with plastic crime scene tape, which kept expanding, the crowd always urged to move back. The tape actually expanded over the vehicle I arrived in, and permission had to be obtained from police brass to move the vehicle.

Adding a new and disturbing layer to the grim scene, Fifth Ward City Council candidate Kenya McKnight arrived and appeared to be mining the crowd for names to add to some kind of list, and trying to wheedle an interview with a camera crew from WCCO.

ADDENDUM: Other media are reporting the dead man was 18, therefore my estimate of the victim being in his 20s has been corrected in this post. Other media reporting a juvenile taken to North Memorial with non-life threatening injuries. The fact rumors were circulating in the crowd about a baby being killed remains true, in that these rumors were indeed circulating in the crowd. Here is a link to the Star Tribune story.

ADDENDUM NUMBER 2: Star Tribune now reporting the individual hurt was a "teenager," so hopefully this is the case and the rumors about a baby were some form of misinformation and hysteria.


Daniel said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm a teacher on the Northside and always worry that its one of mine...

I'll be watching for updates.

Johnny Northside said...

One comment rejected with shocking racist content.