Officials ID man killed near Lake Calhoun

Calhoun paths
Minneapolis Police officials say the victim's body was found near the walking and bike paths along Lake Calhoun.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

The Hennepin County Medical examiner says a 20-year-old Brooklyn Park man died from a gunshot wound Monday night near Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

The killing is remarkable in part because of where it happened, along a popular recreational path right along the lakeshore.

According to the medical examiner's office, Derrick Gregory Martin died from a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Police officials say Martin's death was the result of a dispute between two groups of people familiar to investigators.

Capt. Amelia Huffman says the fact that the shooting happened near Lake Calhoun was coincidental.

"This incident happened because these folks happened to encounter each other here. But it's not connected to this neighborhood or tied to this area at all," said Huffman.

Police officials say Martin's body was found next to the walking path that circles the lake.

The police cars and yellow crime scene tape blocking the area were gone by late Tuesday morning. So the bikers, bladers and walkers are once again free to circle the lake. News of the shooting came as a shock to Mel Magnuson, who said she just moved to the area.

Magnuson and her friend Annie Nielsen, who were walking near the scene of the crime, both said the area seems very nice and they don't feel unsafe here. However, Nielsen added that the incident is a reminder to be careful, wherever you are.

"Like in any area, you have to be wise. Stuff can happen anywhere, even if it is in a nicer part of Minneapolis," she said.

"Be careful coming around here at night. Especially if you're alone -- you should come around here at night in pairs," said James Robinson, who said he sometimes walks around the lake late at night with his son. But Robinson said he doesn't worry about his safety.

Robinson was walking with friend, Jamar Hardy, on Tuesday. When asked if he thought this latest shooting might get more media attention than those which occur in other parts of town, Hardy answered matter-of-factly.

"I was born and raised for part of my life in north Minneapolis, so I dealt with all the negative media attention that we did get out of north Minneapolis," said Hardy. "The interesting spin I'm sure they'll put on this situation here -- depending on who was involved in the situation. So, it's society. It is what it is. I don't read too much into it. It's just reality."

The reality is, compared to much of the city, violent crime around here is rare. So incidents like the shooting really stand out.

According to the latest police statistics, since the beginning of 2010, there's only been one report of a violent crime in the neighborhood -- an aggravated assault.

Rhea Sullivan works for the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council. She says residents tend to be most concerned about livability issues, like thefts from cars parked along the parkway, loud music or speeders along the parkway.

"People have talked about options for trying to slow down traffic, trying to add some stop signs or speed bumps or something, to kind of make it more pedestrian friendly," said Sullivan.

The homicide is the city's 20th of the year -- which is more than occurred in Minneapolis in all of 2009. Police officials say the killings don't follow a set pattern or trend. But they are trying to prevent retaliation for Martin's death.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.