and Criticism, blog post by John Hoff
Last evening, at 6:59 PM according to the Star Tribune, a man was shot after a confrontation on a city bus near the intersection of Penn and 26th Ave. N. The man died in the parking lot of the nearby gas station. A juvenile suspect has been arrested.
The man is Drew "The Chef" Billingsley, CEO of LOL Entertainment, as reported this morning by JNS blog, based on widespread Facebook reports.
Why is the mass media waiting so long to report the victim's name? Don't they have Facebook accounts like almost every teenager in America to know what is happening?
Now here is information developed by JNS blog about dramatic events that happened at the hastily-arranged candle light vigil last night, not witnessed by news vans or police which had already left the scene but certainly witnessed by neighbors.
From 7 PM to about 10 PM the Number 19 metro bus sat by the side of the street, being processed as a crime scene. Yellow police tape blocked off a wide area...
One Northsider who witnessed the scene said the victim was laying with his arms upraised, face turned toward the sky, and remained out in the open like that for hours while bystanders yelled, "Cover him up!"
By about 9:30 or 10 PM the extensive crime scene tape was being taken down and placed in a boulevard trash can which is actually maintained by a neighbor, not the city, as an act of good citizenship. The crime scene tape filled the can to the very top.
A metro transit crew had a bit of difficulty getting the bus started, but finally succeeded and drove it off. The female driver, who had long remained at the scene, was not the one to finally drive off the bus. The number of the bus MAY have been "1904." Pictures, not yet available, may confirm the actual bus number.
The crime scene was empty and dark. In the night, a voice shouted "Help!" six times, and a 911 call was placed.
With the crime scene empty, except for about half a dozen bystanders lingering, a white cargo van drove up and parked in the gas station driveway with its lights off. It appeared like, possibly, a church van.
Soon a crowd of people, walking together, came along Penn Ave. N. and began to gather in the parking lot, near the van. There were about 50 in all, and one young man was openly drinking from a whiskey bottle of (it appeared) Grey Goose. Small children, including babes in arms, were present at the murder scene as everybody milled around, angry voices raised, in the dark gas station parking lot. Somebody attached flowers to the white metal fence around the gas station, the beginnings of a memorial to the murder victim.
A 911 call was placed within minutes of the crowd gathering. These spontaneous murder vigils have a well-documented historical tendency to turn ugly and violent and a police dispatcher agreed.
"Send everything you've got," was the plea to 911.
But for about half an hour or 45 minutes, only one "roll by" of a police vehicle was noted and what appeared to be a female police officer walking into the crowd for a moment. There just weren't enough police. They were working other violent crime scenes.
The crowd lit candles and held them aloft. A loud and tall man who seemed to be taking charge kept reminding people, loudly, to hold up the candles. One had the feeling this event wasn't "really" a vigil, but a kind of mob gathering made to appear like a peaceful vigil.
"Keep holding up the candles," was the loud order.
At one point, breaking glass could be heard.
A vehicle--four door, older, powder gray or light blue, driven by a skinny black male--pulled up. A brief conversation took place, loud, and something could be heard like "He better not be here" or "He better not show up here." The vehicle drove away quickly. There was still no sign of police to watch the mob of people.
Within 25 to 30 seconds of the vehicle driving away, things developed quickly. A young man, maybe 17 or 18, maybe as old as 20, possibly in a red sleeveless shirt with a white letter or number, ran away from the crowd and, incredibly, almost the whole crowd followed after, some still clutching their candles and whiskey bottles and babies as they ran.
The same residents who had begged for a police presence shortly before were now going for their phones yet again when a gunshot rang out, in the vacant lot across from the gas station to the west where the mob had ran.
The residents hit the floor--a lovely wood floor, actually--and at least two calls were placed to 911 while these residents laid on the floor after the gunshot. A dog ran around, trying to lick them, while the 911 calls were made.
Who fired the shot? Why? Was anybody hit? There was no telling but THAT ENTIRE MOB OF FIFTY PEOPLE WAS CHASING THAT SUSPECT.
The news vans were gone, the police were gone, but the 911 calls documented what happened.
And so goes the long hot summer of 2014.