Weekend shooting leaves one dead at ‘George Floyd Square’

It’s at least the fourth homicide and one of several shootings that have taken place at or near the memorial.

Fibonacci Blue/Flickr - image cropped and resized.

A shooting over the weekend at the George Floyd memorial site in Minneapolis has left one person dead.

It’s at least the fourth homicide and one of several shootings that have taken place at or near the memorial since George Floyd died at the location while in police custody last May.

The shooting took place just before 6 p.m. on Saturday at the intersection that’s become known as “George Floyd Square” at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South.

Two victims were initially reported to have been shot, and when officers arrived in the area, they were told that the victims had already been transported to the hospital.

A statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department said that the adult male victim in his 30s had died at the hospital as a result of his injuries; his identity has not yet been released by the medical examiner. Police said their initial investigation led them to believe that the victim and suspect had been in a verbal altercation prior to the shooting. The statement also said that police had not been able to locate a second victim.

No suspect information was given by police, but the suspect vehicle was described as a cream or light-colored Suburban, believed to be a 2005–2016 body style. The suspect’s vehicle is said to have sustained gunshot damage.

The statement released by MPD also said that officers “were met with interference at the scene.” During a press briefing on the shooting, police spokesperson John Elder declined to elaborate on the details of the alleged interference experienced by officers.

The area has been barricaded and patrolled by activists since the death of Floyd, and police have said they’ve frequently been met with resistance while trying to respond to emergency incidents within the barricades.

A video showing the apparent immediate aftermath of the shooting surfaced online the following day.

The video was apparently filmed by someone already on site who appeared to be crouched with others behind a vehicle following the shooting. As the video pans the scene, tires can be heard squealing and people can be seen running in an apparent search for help.

The camera pans back to the front of Cup Foods where the apparent victim can be seen on the ground in front of the doors as a crowd gathers around.

This marks at least the fourth shooting homicide near the memorial since George Floyd’s death last May. Leneesha Columbus, 27, was shot and killed one block away on 37th and Elliot Avenue South on July 5. (Columbus’ child, who was prematurely born following the shooting, died a month later as a result of complications from the trauma.) Two other people were shot and killed in separate incidents at 35th and Chicago: Mario Mendieta, 17, on July 23, and Andrew Davis, 29, on Aug. 27.

There have been numerous other shootings at the site of the George Floyd memorial since his death, including one on the first night of the riots on May 26, another on July 11, one on Oct. 18, and a double shooting on Dec. 27.

The City of Minneapolis claims to be working on a long-term plan for the area. Mayor Jacob Frey and other city officials have stated that they plan to remove the barricades and open up the street to vehicle access following the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

The trial for Chauvin got underway this week. Jury selection was supposed to begin on Monday, but was delayed because the prosecution team, led by Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office, is contesting whether jury selection should begin while the matter of a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin remains unresolved.

Jury selection is expected to begin on Tuesday barring any last minute ruling by the Court of Appeals to delay the trial or jury selection.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.