June 19, 2017 10:38 PM
Gun violence in St. Paul is up more than 65 percent from last year at this time, a police spokesman said at a press conference regarding a shooting that injured three people, including a 2-year-old child.
"It's insidious. It rips at the fabric that holds St. Paul together, and it doesn't just affect the people that are struck," said St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders at a press conference Monday. "A bullet goes through the air and hits a person, and the family's life is devastated."
"Children no longer feel safe in their neighborhood," he added. "... we really need to work together to address this issue. Cops are working hard, but we can't do it alone."
Police are asking the public to share if anyone they know is carrying a weapon illegally or recklessly discharging firearms.
Linders also called for information related to Monday's early-morning shooting, which happened after midnight.
Police were patrolling when they heard "multiple" gunshots nearby. They headed to the scene, and 911 calls led them to the address on the 200 block of Maryland Avenue West.
Three victims were found on the scene, including a 2-year-old girl who suffered life-threatening injuries. The other two adult men had less serious injuries and were transported to Regions hospital.
Linders did not disclose the child's name, and said she is in "critical condition" and "gravely wounded."
The two men were identified as 23-year-old Shawn Vang and 27-year-old Lee Lor.
Neighbor Devin Witt said he heard the gunfire early Monday morning, and is upset that a 2-year-old was shot.
"It's unnerving, it takes away your sense of safety," Witt said. "It makes me sick, it really does."
Witt says some neighbors have moved out because of the violence, and that he is considering leaving the area.
Meanwhile, police have brought in several witnesses for questioning and have processed the scene.
Linders said initial information suggests there is a connection between the shooter or shooters and the two male victims, and the incident was is not "entirely random," but the exact relationship is unknown.
Anyone with information is asked to call St. Paul's homicide unit at 651-266-5650.
Theresa Malloy, Jessica Miles and Joe Mazan
Updated: June 19, 2017 10:38 PM
Created: June 19, 2017 02:20 PM
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