Police, community respond to weekend gunfire

Police in Minneapolis are investigating the deaths of four people over the weekend, while St. Paul police are trying to find out who shot and killed a man last Friday morning.

Minneapolis police say they have a man in custody following a double homicide which occurred on Sunday morning on the city's north side. The man was involved in the shooting, according to police spokesperson John Elder, but he didn't offer further details.

The Medical Examiner has not yet identified the victims of that incident, but Elder has said both are men.

The Hennepin County prosecutor's office is reviewing the case and could file charges by the end of the day Tuesday.

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The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified two men killed in Minneapolis last Friday and Saturday. Liban Mohamed Abdulahi, 32, of Burnsville was found shot to death in the city's Riverside neighborhood last Friday evening. And Steven Lemar Fields, 42, of Richfield was found shot to death on the city's north side, also last Friday night.

Elder said investigators don't believe the shootings in Minneapolis are connected. However, the killings seem to reflect a familiar trend.

Nearly all the people shot and killed in Minneapolis are men. Nearly all of them are black. A handful of the deceased were teenagers. The bulk of victims were in their 20s and 30s. Also, the overwhelming majority of homicide victims in both Minneapolis and St. Paul were killed by people with guns.

In St. Paul, police haven't announced any arrests or suspects in Friday's shooting in the Summit-University area, but identified a 19-year-old man named Wilbert McCalister of St. Paul as the shooting victim.

However, despite the weekend's shooting deaths, violence appears to be on the decline in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The latest stats from the Minneapolis police department show that 23 people have been killed in homicides so far this year. That's less than the 29 homicides tallied at this point in 2017. Also, the number of reported aggravated assaults — which includes shootings — is also down so far this year.

There have been fewer violent deaths recorded in St. Paul this year as well. Police say there have been 12 homicides committed in the city so far this year. At this point in 2017, 16 people had been killed in St. Paul.

To anti-violence activist VJ Smith from MAD DADS, some of the killings sound like they were committed as acts of retaliation. Sometimes, he said, the shooting victim is someone who's just been released from prison after doing time for assault or murder.

"Maybe they've changed, but the people that they hurt could not forgive them, so as soon as they get out, they make sure they get revenge," said Smith. "There's no crime prevention tool anywhere that can stop a man that has made his mind up that murder is on his heart."