MINNEAPOLIS - A woman was hit by gunfire early Saturday morning while in line outside Pizza Luce in downtown Minneapolis.
Officers report hearing numerous gunshots shortly before 3 a.m. near the corner of 4th Street and 1st Avenue North.
Police say one of those bullets hit a 22-year-old woman in the chest while she was waiting outside the restaurant. According to police she was rushed to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where police say she underwent surgery Saturday morning and is expected to survive. No other details were given on her condition.
A car parked outside the restaurant was also hit by gunfire, but police say no one inside was hurt. A nearby officer was also hit by chunks of cement that broke off when bullets went through a wall.
This is the third incident in less than eight months where a bystander has been hit by gunfire in a 10-block radius in downtown Minneapolis.
In October, 28-year old Jenna Heilman was shot outside a bar on 5th and Hennepin. She died from her injuries seven weeks later. Her killer was convicted of murder and later said she was not the intended target.
On May 13, a man was shot in the leg outside Lyons Pub on 6th Street while sitting on the patio. Police say he was hit by a stray bullet. KARE 11 contacted six bar/restaurants in the downtown area. Servers and managers would not go on camera but all expressed their frustrations with the violence and shootings that have been ongoing.
“It makes me mad,” Connie Larson says. She’s worked in downtown restaurants and bars for 25 years and currently works at Gluek's Restaurant and Bar. “Even the people that come into town, I can't recommend anything past dark and feel consciously good that they are going to be safe anymore.”
According to police, 35 fewer people have been shot citywide compared to last year, and 147 more guns have been taken off the streets. Police also say they have increased the number of officers on foot in the downtown area.
“There doesn’t seem to be any urgency,” Larson says. “Downtown is a great place but these keep happening and it’s very frustrating.”
Police believe the Saturday morning shots were fired from a car outside the restaurant. They're still looking for a shooter. No arrests have been made at this time.
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