Mpls. police search for those behind early-evening shooting

Minneapolis police are searching for the people behind the shooting of a bystander in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday night.

While all shootings are taken seriously, this one provoked particular concern because it occurred just after 7 p.m., a time when downtown is bustling.

For most of the people at 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue Tuesday evening, the shooting came with no warning.

"I was about to turn into traffic when I heard this loud noise," said a man who was in his car at the time, on his way home after a visit to the gym. MPR News agreed not to use his name because he fears for his safety.

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"Right out my window, across the street, a gentleman was literally searching his body for bullet holes because that loud noise that we had heard was a gunshot and he had been hit," the man said.

According to a police statement, two men had been arguing at a nearby bus stop. One produced a gun and pulled the trigger. The bystander was shot in the stomach. The 44-year-old victim, who has not been named, is in stable condition.

"It all happened so fast, like that was what was weird," said another witness. "They were walking along like they were friends then, the next thing you know a fight started out, then 10 seconds later a gun comes out an one shot."

No arrests have been made. In a statement, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said parts of the incident were captured on camera.

The statement continues: "MPD is leveraging technology to vigorously go after those perpetrating violence in Minneapolis." The statement also says additional police will be in the area.

The Minneapolis Downtown Council condemned the incident and called for a coordinated effort to stop gun violence. Tuesday night's shooting came just days after three people were wounded during a fight near the Gay Nineties bar on Hennepin Avenue.

Downtown Council President Steve Cramer said most of downtown Minneapolis is as safe as anywhere in the city. He said incidents like the Gay Nineties shooting tend to happen in concentrated areas and at a later hour, around the time bars close. He said the shooting on Tuesday was worrying because it happened in the early evening, when there are many people around.

Cramer said it's time for a concerted effort.

"Let's collect ourselves and as a community, and certainly relying on the law enforcement, including the court system, let's send a clear signal to people who resort to that behavior," he said. "That's not acceptable, and you are going to be apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And let's try to bring this to a close."

The Minneapolis police say they will be aggressive in their response to the shooting. And with the approaching Super Bowl expected to bring huge crowds to downtown Minneapolis, it's clear everyone wants safety to be a priority.