Friday, June 11, 2010

More Details On The Thomas Ave. N. Shooting

Contributed photos, xoxo, blog post by John Hoff

This morning the City Pages listed the address where yesterday's "head shot" murder took place at 1240 Thomas Ave. N. The coverage in City Pages contrasted the incident with the Mayor's new emphasis on stopping crime.

Here is some commentary from somebody who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting and forward the photo, above.

"Note the large man in civiilian clothes with his back to the squad talking to police....with the big ass gun on his hip and what looks to be a walkie talkie. I figured he must be the maintenance man for the apt complex, but I've NEVER seen a maintenance guy carry a gun. Can you imagine the liability for the apartment complex if he were to shoot and kill someone?"

To which I say: maybe his company has extraordinary confidence in the man's good judgment. I'm not judging, not when it comes to decent people packing iron against thugs.

Here is some of what Northside residents were saying to each other via email...

"I read in the Strib that no suspects are in custody. That courtyard has tons of people in it at virtually any daylight hour -- seating, picnic tables, BBQ grills, open space for kids to play. Somebody saw this go down, whether or not they're admitting it."

"Homewood residents milling about on Sheridan south of the scene said that recent increased police patrols (the past week or so) in the area were possibly related to increased activity in the alley behind the apartments. I heard mention of card games."
"The only times anything happens in Homewood, it's the apartment buildings on Plymouth/Thomas & Plymouth/Sheridan. Domestics, aggravated assaults, burglary, robbery, rape, murder, shootings.

I'm at the point where I ignore nearly all Action Alerts mentioning the 12xx blocks of either Sheridan or Thomas because it's invariably not one of the homes on those blocks. Those buildings are the perfect stereotype of Section 8 housing. The folks on Farwell Place (like ) who share an alley with the apartments must be so thrilled."

(JNS says: Sarcasm font)

The building in question is owned by an entity called Homewood Limited Partnership. Here is a document about the city's involvement in financing of the buildings in question, click here.


Folwell Fox said...

Yeah, he's built like a maintenance guy alright, probably not an undercover. I commend him for exercising his Constitutional right to defend himself, and the the Apt. complex management.

Paul said...

I was leaving my house on the 1400 block of Sheridan at a few minutes to seven last night and couldn't get past because maybe 8 to 10 police vehicles were blocking the way two houses (and as I drove away in the other direction, a few more cars were fast approaching). I definitely saw police with guns drawn, and a big guy in a baggy white t-shirt being cuffed. It was only when I returned home at 8:30 that I saw police tape a block away, near the site of the shooting at Thomas. So if my eyes don't deceive, police do have someone in custody.

Anonymous said...

New info shared in strib:

Just after the shooting, Palmer said that police had no suspects in custody. About 9:45 p.m., however, a male was led away in handcuffs from the apartment building. It was unclear late Thursday night whether the man had any connection to the shooting.

The apartment complex has two buildings on the south side of Plymouth Avenue N., one facing Thomas Avenue N. and the other facing Sheridan Avenue N.

In between is a courtyard where neighbors say there have been an increasing number of fights or disturbances. Three to five times this year, one neighbor said, he has looked out his window to see crowds of people surrounding others who were fighting.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentleman, I believe that is "DOC Dave" a fugitive guy with the Department of Corrections.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the news tip from the northside neighbor. You know who you are.

Anonymous said...

@Paul, when I was at the scene taking the photos I was listening to the conversations around me.

One distinct set of interactions seemed to be the family members of the victims, panicking, scrambling to get info and get to the hospital, trading off babies to be left in trusted care and oddly enough, exchanging cigarettes to be prepared for their hospital trip.

Another distinct conversation overheard was some guys who were very concerned about the police "letting Ree go" It seems they also used the name Mario. Maybe Ree is short for Mario. Not sure. Anyways they said the police had snatched him up and he was in the back of the truck and they "better let his ass go and get the real shooter".

Anonymous said...

Ya that second amendment is a M F'er. Be carful thugs!
T Jaramillo

Anonymous said...

THe man with the "big ass gun" on his hip is a police officer. There was a shooting close to my house, and he was the first one on the rest at ease! He is a police officer.

Anonymous said...

I do NOT think that man is a police officer. I watched the scene for a while and he was not walking around, interacting with other police as if he was one of them. He had his back to the squad and was being questioned by those two officers as if he was a witness or knew something.

I just believe he is the maintenance man.

I also don't believe he is DOC fugitive catcher. Seriously, not in shape enough to be chasing guys on the run.

Anonymous said...

Residents of Homewood Apartments have told me that they have been living in fear for several months, but that the management company has been completely unresponsive to their pleas to do something about it. Apparently a couple of the residents have boyfriends who are in gangs and started using Homewood Apartments as a base of operations. The residents see a lot of what is going on, but unfortunately don't feel like they can call 911, out of fear for their lives. And I don't blame them one bit.

The management company has allowed a few tenants and their "guests" to hold the building hostage.

Reportedly, there are cameras in the halls, so the management company has known all along who the perpetrators are.

Residents report fights, drug dealing, and the fact that the lock to the door of the Thomas building was rigged so that anyone can come and go. I hadn't heard about card games.

Neighbors in the surrounding houses can call 911 when they see something, but don't see/hear/know nearly as much as the other residents of the buildings.

Patrick said...

Sounds like a bad scene going on there. Maybe we should just tear the complex down like we do with the inconvenience stores.

Anonymous said...

Maybe M.A.D. D.A.D.S. can have another march...that method seems to work alright.How about we create another acronym that sounds like "We really mean business now you bad guys" How about A.N.G.R.Y.? A new saying will show them meanies what they're up against.No Snitching? That's working like a charm!Do not Profile even if it means a worthless loser kills a kid with a ton of potential.How about we let the Police do their job and all of you so called parents get back to parenting and quit talking about it? The road to good intentions is paved with gold.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Great trolling, "Patrick". If you really do believe that, you need to buy a clue. Tear down a whole apartment complex because of a couple of tenants' boyfriends? How about the damn management do its job and get rid of the offenders?

That's one thing that this city has that no other city I've lived in has, and it can be both good and, well, as you can see with situations like this, bad. In the other states I've lived in, management companies and landlords/ladies can give problematic tenants the boot (though more often than not, they just boot someone for complaining about needing something fixed), and the tenants have however much time they're allotted. No waiting for court dates, no 30 days.

Certainly if there's proof that they're harboring gang members, a judge wouldn't give them more time to stay? How does that work in this city?

Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the most irresponsible pieces or blogger journalism I have ever read. You have no idea who the fat guy with the gun is, so you speculate he is the building caretaker (because he doesn't look like he could be a cop?).
You weren't even at the scene. You are making your report based on looking at the photograph. And then you surmise that the building owner has great confidence in the guy to allow him to carry a gun.
Followed by your insinuation that good citizens should carry guns to protect themselves from thugs. You are dangerously close to promoting armed vigilantes patrolling neighborhoods.

JNS Worshiper said...

Brooklyn Park tore down a bunch of apartment buildings that housed local thugs and it worked well. There is now new development in the are and the no goods likley moved into North Minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

How do we know that the fat guy with the gun didn't have something to do with this? People that carry guns are usually bad so anyone outside of a uniformed officer should be examined VERY closely.

la_vie_en_rose said...

It doesn't matter if Brooklyn Park did that! Maybe the whole complex was filled with terrible people! In any case, this complex has -- what was it, two people?? -- that are going out with and harboring gangbangers. How do you justify tearing down a whole damn building and putting innocent tenants out on the street just because of two freaking tenants?? Your logic, it does not compute!

Anonymous said...

The apartments grounds are very well-maintained, and for years, when the the apartments were under different management, they have been an asset to the community.

Unfortunately, the new management has fallen down on the job, but it shouldn't be too hard to fix, if they are interested in doing so.

It's not like some blocks, where there are a lot of ingrained problems--in this case there are just a few bad apples, but the management company is willing to let them drag down not only the apartment complex, but the surrounding area as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey if it works to tear down the corner store why not an entire apartment complex. If we can reduce the amount of affordable housing and limit it to single family homes we can start to turn this part of Minneapolis around. Does anyone really think that if all apartments and duplexes, triplexes etc were removed we would have less crime? This is what i'd like to see the housing director focus on.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Anon 9:08, you're a jerkass. There are plenty of no-accounts who live in single family homes. Hell, let's tear everything down! That will solve the crime problem then, won't it?

Jerome said...

la_vie_en_rose said..."Hell, let's tear everything down! That will solve the crime problem then, won't it?"
Well, that's what Chicago did with Cabrini-Green. The gang problems and violence got so bad that they tore down and bulldozed almost the entire neighborhood. Now it is rebuilt and the problems are mostly gone.
And look what happened when the Mississippi Courts housing was demolished in the 80's. Crime in Camden dropped through the floor. (Although I doubt many readers remember "The Courts". That was some nasty filthy housing unlike anything you've ever seen - Think Slumdog Millionaire).
History also shows that crime dropped when the Sumner/Olson, & Glenwood/Lyndale projects were torn down. The gang problems that thrived there vanished. And the new housing developments have a pleasantly low crime rate.

So tearing down blighted, poverty stricken housing does solve crime problems. At least in that area.
Then the newer higher quality replacement housing leads to the gentrification of the neighborhood, which is the informal economic eviction of the lower-income residents, because of increased rents, house prices, and property taxes.
Is that not the goal for Hawthorne? High quality housing stock, with high quality residents? The "Urban Utopia" referenced in the header of this blog? Go drive around Sumner/Glenwood and Harrison neighborhoods, see the future.

Anonymous said...

I think these apartments have got to come down too. The design makes it especially hard for MPD to adequately patrol. Those courtyards are a drug dealing thug's dream. They can operate in there unfettered and terrorize the citizenry.

It may be a little inconvenient for the law abiding tenants to get kicked out, but those low life thugs are terrorizing the whole neighborhood. Sometimes a few innocents have to suffer for the good of many. And tearing down these buildings will be good for NoMi as a whole.

Anonymous said...


You're exactly right. Gentrification is nothing to shy away from. It's just the market at work. As NoMi housing stock goes up in value there will be people who can't afford to live here. Sorry, but it's true. I'd rather kick some people out and have a decent neighborhood than be more inclusive and live in the ghetto.

gentrify THIS said...

Jerome is a troll.

Do not feed the trolls.

Anonymous said...

Urban Utopia? That kind of sounds like the North Minneapolis where i grew up in the sixties, seventies, and part of the eighties. I live in the same area where i grew up.It has changed dramatically through the years to say the least.With that being said, the Harrison neighborhood is no walk in the park(at least after dark).Our neighborhood is jam packed with Chimos and thats Utopia?Granted we have not had quite the murder rate as the Folwell area but that is literally a Killin Zone.That's like saying you're smarter than the kid sitting next to you in class and he's the school idiot.This area was home to Spanky Pete(Perv, mental, stinky,pick your nickname while he's picking his nose because he's gotta eat too). Had the Glenwood-Olson housing projects not been built over Bassetts creek i guarantee it would still be there.I lived there in the sixties and part of the seventies while in my younger days and the rats would visit after extremely heavy rains while we were swimming in the streets having a ball.Black,White,Native Americans and Hispanic one and all.We got along.Now taking in the fact that North Minneapolis was not quite a so called Utopia then,hence the rioting in the sixties and seventies and the forced busing across the nation and here....regardless of the circumstances, we were definitely a village where people looked out for each other.It saddens my heart to see the children and grandchildren of the people i grew up with have to live with the bullshit that takes place. It saddens me when i see people from the past and we talk about it.If we want to curtail the violence and attempt to control the mayhem we are going to have to search our collective souls and reach out to each other again.Boathead will never lose HOPE and prays that the line of communication with in our respective Skin pigmentation figmentationary groups will dissolve and common sense will be common once again.

la_vie_en_rose said...

OK, so what's your idea of "decent people"? I pay quite a bit of money towards rent, and I'm a decent person (I hope). However, if my rent goes up a couple of hundred more, unless I get help, I am screwed. And no, I can't go out and just "get another job or two".

How many others do you think there are that live in this neighborhood that are decent people but low income? When you kick them out of here, where the hell else will they go?

I've read the history about this neighborhood. NoMi has always been a haven for minorities and low income families. The families who couldn't tolerate it or who wanted better, moved away to the 'burbs. If it's been this way since the 1800s, how do you expect to change it now? And why should you change it? Everyone needs a place to live, even if it's not the nicest place in the world.

Oh, and for those bemoaning the state of the neighborhood, NoMi is paradise compared to some other cities' 'hoods. Why don't you try walking around Gary, Indiana? East Chicago? South Chicago? South-Central, California? Yes, there's crime here and gang activity, but every place -- even the smallest town -- has that. It's like war -- you'll never be rid of it. You'd have to kill or brainwash mankind first.

Anonymous said...

to anon 9:39
I think the sayin goes "The road to Hell is paved on good intentions."
and to anon 4:53
You might want to research a little before you say make such uninformed comments about legal gun carriers. It take a hell of alot of background checking to get a C.C.W. (carry permit). I believe it goes back 7 years, and through the FBI and BCI.
T Jaramillo aka "not anon"

Anonymous said...

There's really no point in responding to the trolls posing as people who support tearing down Homewood Apartments, because they allegedly see some similarity between the management-caused problems with the apartment building and the necessary demolition of a condemned, structurally unsound, dry-rotting building like Uncle Bill's.

The poster, a dedicated advocate of a slumlord's right to rent deteriorating buildings to gang members in exchange for a cut of the profits, is pretending that he doesn't understand that Uncle Bill's was condemned and demolished because it was so structurally unsound that all the legitimate developers who looked at the property understood that the numbers didn't add up to rehab it in a legitimate way, for legitimate purposes. On the other hand, it was a perfect opportunity for anyone who wanted to use it as a front for a drug operation, which is the "landlord rights" issue that is the poster's real agenda.

I really don't see the purpose in approving these troll comments.

Jerome said...

gentrify THIS said...
Jerome is a troll.
Do not feed the trolls.

I'm a troll? You don't like what I write so I'm a troll?
You are a PUTZ!
I realize la_vie_en_rose was being sarcastic, but I was stating factual information which represents the history of North Minneapolis. Much like Stuart Ackerberg, my grandparents grew up in North Minneapolis I know the area and housing projects well.
I doubt any of you ever set foot in Mississippi Courts (which is now North Mississippi Park). You want to see poverty? That was the place to see it.
In the 80's I worked with students in the projects across the street from Bethune School. I'd kick trash and liquor bottles off the steps to get to the kids apartment. Poverty that made my heart break. People should never have been allowed to live in conditions like that.
Look at that area now. Clean, comfortable affordable housing.

While I would hate to see a kind person like la_vie_en_rose forced to move. Do you want economic improvements to this neighborhood or not? If not I'll be happy to call Stuart and let his know your sentiments.