Crime, Law and Justice

Teen arrested in connection with Nudieland mass shooting at Minneapolis punk show

A man stands with a sticker
August Golden, 35, was killed at a mass shooting in south Minneapolis on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023.
Courtesy of Bryan May

Updated April 24, 3:57 p.m. | Posted April 23, 2:30 p.m.

Two teens are facing charges in connection with the shooting at a Minneapolis punk show in August that injured six people and killed one man.

Dominic James Burris, 18, appeared in juvenile court on Tuesday. Officials did not name the second suspect, a male who was a juvenile at the time of the shooting.

Burris, who is from Hinckley and also known as “Scoober,” pled not guilty to one charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and six counts of felony assault. Burris was 17 at the time of the shooting.

The second suspect is in juvenile detention and had a court hearing Wednesday afternoon. The 17-year-old from Onamia faces one felony charge of aiding and abetting murder, two felony charges of aiding and abetting assault and four felony assault charges.

MPR News does not name juvenile defendants unless they are charged in adult court.

Prosecutors were still determining whether to pursue moving the cases to adult court.

August Golden, 35, was killed in the mass shooting that drew national attention for its impact on a tight-knit punk community. He was also known as Nicholas Golden, a name he hadn’t used in more than a decade, his best friend Bryan May told MPR News last summer.

What happened at Nudieland

About 30 to 50 people were gathered at the house venue known as Nudieland in south Minneapolis for a show on the evening of Aug. 11 when the suspects walked up to the alley and opened fire after 10 p.m., according to witnesses.

A house is seen
The house, known as Nudieland, on the 2200 block of 16th Avenue South where a mass shooting happened on Aug., 11, 2023, as photographed on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. MPR News has blurred the address number out of this photo.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Attendees at the time reported many at the show were LGBTQ+ and they were concerned they were targeted because of their identity.

Witnesses told police that the two suspects had attended the event and talked with people there but were not known to the community. One witness told police the suspects hit on her and began making “insensitive” comments when she rejected them. She commented on the fact that they had guns and one of them replied “we’re not going to use the gun or anything, but if need be we will,” according to court documents.

Other witnesses said the suspects made insensitive comments after learning attendees were lesbians, and heard the suspects say “derogatory epithets about the sexual orientation of concert attendees,” court documents say.

The shooting began less than a minute after the two suspects left, witnesses told police.

Investigators recovered nine casings of different calibers in the yard just north of the venue, indicated two guns were used.

Court records say seven people including Golden were injured by bullets. One survivor had to have a kidney removed as a result of injuries.

Blue lights and sirens
The scene following a shooting outside a punk rock show in Minneapolis on Aug. 11, 2023.
Courtesy photo

Shooting ‘rocked our LBGTQA+ community’

"All of our neighbors have the right to live authentically and free from threats of violence, and that includes members of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. Moriarty is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the county’s top prosecutor.

“This shooting, at what should have been a joyous event, rocked our LBGTQA+ community, and increased fear among a community that is too often already under attack.”

A woman speaks at a mic during a press conference
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announces charges against Dominic James Burris, 18, in relation to the Nudieland mass shooting that took place last August in a press conference in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Moriarty said prosecutors have not charged this crime as being motivated by bias, which is a sentencing enhancement and commonly what people mean when they refer to “hate crime laws.” Prosecutors can add these sentencing enhancements to increase both the minimum and maximum sentences for crimes proven to be motivated by bias against certain identities. 

“The way the law works is that if we actually charge a crime motivated by bias, we then have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the reason, what motivated this shooting, was bias. We know that there were biased comments made. That's clear. What we don't believe at this moment is that we have enough information to know whether the crime itself was motivated by those hateful comments,” Moriarty said.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis Police Department collaborated to investigate the shooting.

Investigators were able to identify the unnamed suspect through DNA testing cigarette butts from the scene after a witness said they saw one of the suspects smoking at the event, according to court documents. They also used surveillance video from the area.

“Given that there is no positive outcome after someone has been murdered, I'm grateful that there has been a pursuit for justice,” said state Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul.

Finke chairs the Queer Caucus of the Minnesota Legislature. She said the Nudieland shooting still weighs heavily on queer people and punk fans.

“It's something that has continually come up. When I go to community events, when I'm gathering with trans and queer people in the Twin Cities, you know, it always comes up,” Finke said.

Arrest offers ‘some relief’ for community still on edge

The update was met with complicated emotions from friends of August Golden and others impacted by the Nudieland shooting.

“I guess there’s some relief just having someone off the streets who might do terrible things to the community, but, you know, it doesn’t bring August back,” said Bryan May, Golden’s best friend and bandmate.

May is a high school social worker who works with many teens impacted by random or targeted gun violence. He said it was hard to hear the suspects’ ages.

“It's just personal in a lot of ways. It's kind of a lot to take in, you know?” May said.

“Personally, with my feelings about incarceration and the criminal justice system, I don't really know how it would feel to, like, have those kids go to prison,” said Claire Cobs, who was at Nudieland the night of the shooting. “Nothing can bring our friend back or undo the trauma that we all experienced that night.”

Cobs said people have physically recovered, but the community is “still struggling emotionally and mentally,” carrying fear of their surroundings. She said she’s been trying to figure out how to feel safe – and that goes beyond arresting the suspects.

“What they did was horrible and inexcusable, but I also know that that kind of, like, hate that compelled them to do what they did that night and think that was an okay thing to do is a systematic issue that doesn't start or end with them,” Cobs said.

People pose next to a van
August Golden and his bandmates after their tour van got totaled.
Courtesy of Bryan May
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