MINNEAPOLIS - The new Minneapolis Police Chief is assuring residents that his officers will be "aggressive" in their response after an innocent bystander was struck by a bullet at a bus stop Tuesday evening in downtown Minneapolis.
Chief Medaria Arradondo released a statement Wednesday morning condemning the violent episode, and promising to increase police presence in the downtown area, which has seen several incidents of gun violence in recent weeks.
According to Minneapolis police spokesperson Sgt. Catherine Michal, the shooting happened at 7:14 p.m. at a bus stop at 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue. Michal says two men were arguing and one pulled out a handgun and fired, but hit a bystander in the hip area.
The victim, an adult male, was brought to HCMC, where police said he went into surgery.
Officers were in the area and immediately ran after a few people who were running, but Michal says there is no one in custody at this time.
"Parts of this incident were captured on camera. MPD is leveraging technology to vigorously go after those perpetrating violence in Minneapolis. We will continue to be aggressive in our response and are increasing police presence in the area," Arradondo said. "Violence in any form will not be tolerated in our city. We are working hard to make sure that Downtown and all of Minneapolis is safe and vibrant."
The Chief says his department is attacking gun violence on the streets by coordinating gang, weapons and community response teams, and says so far this year weapon recoveries are up 50 percent over the same time last year, with officers taking 654 guns off the street.
Tuesday night's shooting happened just two blocks from the parking lot where two people were shot early Sunday morning when a man fired into a crowd of people after an altercation. And in May about a block away, an innocent bystander was shot outside Lyon's Pub.
On Wednesday morning Minneapolis Downtown Council President and CEO Steve Cramer released a statement decrying the recent violence.
The use of guns during the course of personal disputes is troubling whenever and wherever it occurs. But it is especially unacceptable downtown, where the density of people present increases the chance of an innocent bystander simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s exactly what happened Tuesday evening on 6th Street. We have seen these occurrences all too often.
For the sake of the thousands of people who work, live and visit downtown daily it is imperative that this word go out and be backed by the full force of the criminal justice system, from police officers on the street to judges in the courtroom. Our community will not tolerate downtown becoming a free fire zone, period. Any individual who behaves otherwise should count on being quickly apprehended, and feeling the full force of prosecution and sentencing come down on them.
The behavior on display last night must come to an end, and our City and law enforcement officials must hasten that end through their concerted actions from this point forward.