Man charged in connection with downtown shooting

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Brooklyn Center man has been charged following an early Monday morning shooting in downtown Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Qumari Spencer, 19, was charged Tuesday with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Conviction on the charge calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail.

According to the criminal complaint, police were watching a surveillance camera video feed and saw a large group of people fighting at Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street near the public library around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. They saw the crowd duck and heard multiple gunshots.

Authorities say the video showed a man move away from the crowd and get into a shooting stance. Immediately, more gunshots were heard and the man, later identified as Spencer, ran towards the parking lot of the Gay 90s, according to the criminal complaint.

Police say an officer encountered him there and heard him say, "I need to get rid of this." The officer ordered Spencer to the ground, but he took off running. Officers caught him, arrested him and recovered a handgun from his pants leg.

According to the complaint, investigators found numerous discharged cartridge casings from the area of the shooting that are the same caliber as Spencer's gun. Police are working to see if the casings match the gun.

“The total lack of regard for the safety of other people by Mr. Spencer, and the others who fired shots, is astounding,” Freeman said. “If we obtain a conviction and he is sentenced to the five years, he will have spent roughly 70 percent of his adult life behind bars. And we are awaiting lab work which could allow us to bring additional charges against him.”

A second shooting took place several blocks away about 15 minutes earlier. No arrests have been made in that case. Six people suffered gunshot wounds in the two shootings.

 


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