by John Hoff
Eyes Of The Nation On North Minneapolis
Andrew Neal, pictured above in his prison mugshot, is caught up in something big and awful which has made the national news. Mr. Neal might only be a multiple felon on parole who did something incredibly stupid (allegedly) and now stands accused of burglary and assault, held on no bail.
But while police were responding to the incidents involving Neal, (allegedly) one of those police was shot sitting in his squad car. So it sure LOOKS like a targeted shooting along the lines of the fatal incident in New York, though I might mention...
When Malo Gomez shot at two Minneapolis cops outside Union Liquor because he was "bored," it didn't receive this kind of national press attention. And this blogger doesn't believe Malo was "bored," this blogger thinks Gomez was targeting those police as some form of gang retaliation.
Scanner Listener Caught Involved Addresses
A faithful JNS blog reader who is also a dedicated police scanner hobbyist caught interesting details about the shooting. First of all, the address where the burglary and assault took place (which mainstream media are reporting as the 1100 block of 24th Ave. N.) was 1118 24th Ave. N., a rental property owned by Steve Meldahl.
After the shooting, Neal was apprehended by police some distance away at 1119 Logan Ave. N., a rental with at least four units owned by Project Pride In Living.
During their investigation, police took control of a car which they believed belonged to the shooter. The car was seized at 4032 Colfax, a rental property owned by Jean M. Akayezu of Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
A Desperate Ploy?
JNS blog hopes this was NOT a targeted shooting. I am not hotly taking issue with those who believe it was, including some members of the police department, apparently...I simply have my own analysis of the facts, as follows:
If you've ever seen our Minneapolis police surround a neighborhood, looking for a suspect, it's amazing to watch. They set up squad cars along lines of sight, watching all avenues of escape. Then they send in the dog, peeling apart the surrounded area into sections like an orange. If you're hiding in bushes, in an unlocked garage, under a porch...that dog is going to find you. And the predatory look in that canine's eye...
It's Jurassic Park, man. JUST LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPON AND SURRENDER BEFORE YOU HAVE TEETH MARKS ON YOUR FACE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!!
But I think Neal, who has a lifetime of criminal experience, saw the encirclement starting to happen, most likely from a concealed vantage point. And maybe in those desperate, panicked moments he thought by taking a shot at a cop he could cause a big distraction and break out of the encirclement.
This was, of course, flawed strategic thinking. Naturally taking a shot at a cop is going to bring down the wrath of MPD. Within several minutes police cars with numbers from SOUTH Minneapolis will be on the scene, looking for the suspect.
Too Much To Live For?
The incident in New York involved a maniac who targeted police for political reasons. This current incident in North Minneapolis must be seen through the lens of Neal's situation--he was a suspect on the run from a burglary and assault. If he took a shot at a police officer, it was more likely a desperate bid for freedom than an act of terrorism. As for the idea the burglary incident was a "set up" to bring police to the scene...if a perp thought ahead that far, wouldn't he have brought more firepower?
Consider Neal's Facebook page. It's not the Facebook page of a terrorist. There is nothing political or religious on that page. The man has a relationship with a little child who may be his son, as shown by a prominent "wallpaper" photo NOT PUBLISHED HERE. Also, Neal loves women to distraction as evidenced by how many he has friended compared to a small number of male friends, and the fact a number of those women are, well, I think the polite term is "exotic dancers."
No, this is not somebody who wants to sacrifice themselves upon the alter of a violent and radical political cause. Rather, this is a man who desperately wants to be free and doesn't want to go back to prison where he just recently finished a long stretch.
The possibility that somebody else opportunistically took a shot at these officers while they were responding to the incident Andrew Neal is accused of committing...
THAT is a much more frightening possibility.
But Andrew Neal doing this for some radical political purpose to "target" police?
I doubt it.