Freeman: Guilty plea ends 2014 gang war

Guily plea ends 2014 gang war

MINNEAPOLIS - Prosecutors say a guilty plea by a Minneapolis man is the final piece in bringing a bloody 2014 gang war to a close. 

Percy Lacey's plea convicts him on felony charges of second-degree assault and attempted murder for the benefit of a gang. He will be sentenced Monday and is expected to receive 225 months, or nearly 19 years in prison.

Lacey was the final person charged after a week of chases, fights and gunfire between two south Minneapolis gangs in late August of 2014. Investigators say Lacey, a member of the 10s gang, fired at three men walking along 37th Street near Chicago Avenue, injuring one of his rivals so severely he had a rod surgically implanted in his leg.

That was followed by another driveby shooting during which Lacey's comrade Vysean Johnson shot and injured two additional members of the Bloods. 

The tension culminated on Aug. 26 when a number of Bloods went to the Hennepin County Courthouse to get Lacey, who was appearing in one of the courtrooms. They found Lacey and chased him, but he was able to sit down on a courthouse bench by a Hennepin County deputy, keeping his rival gang members at bay.

Lacey then learned that a number of Bloods were visiting one of their colleagues at Hennepin County Medical Center and set up an ambush. He had one of his fellow 10s stand outside the hospital to lure the Bloods out, and when they came out a major brawl started between the two gangs. Witnesses say the 10s were getting the worst of it, so Lacey pulled a gun and fired more than 20 shots. No one was hit, but the bullets broke windows and damaged signs at HCMC, and sent employees running for cover. 

Lacey admitted to authorities that he was a member of the 10s, and that he fired the shots outside HCMC. He previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to possess firearms to engage in drug trafficking. 

Five others were charged with lesser crimes in connection with the gang war. 

Lacey's co-defendant Johnson will be sentence next month on two counts of attempted murder for his role in the gang feud. Johnson is paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in November of 2014 at the Motomart on Hiawatha Avenue. No one has ever been charged in that shooting. 


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