String of stray-bullet shootings in Twin Cities prompts plea from police, community leaders
Police in the Twin Cities are looking into multiple recent incidents that left innocent people injured from stray bullets.
The latest shooting happened on Wednesday night in Minneapolis around 7 p.m. on the 900 block of Oliver Avenue North. A woman was inside her apartment and was seriously hurt after a stray bullet struck her. Police believe the shots came from a nearby alley.
Jordan Borer Nelson, executive director of MAD DADS of Minneapolis, says when he hears about these shootings, it reminds him of his past but he’s trying to bring positive change.
“I think that some people have been through so much trauma they don’t care anymore,” he said.
Borer Nelson says he has had 18 friends and a brother who’ve been murdered. He has also spent time in prison and says he knows what life in the streets is all about.
“I’m a standing witness of change,” Borer Nelson said.
Today, Borer Nelson runs MAD DADS of Minneapolis, an organization that focuses on community safety and youth empowerment.
“I think that some people don’t realize the consequences,” Borer Nelson said.
Minutes after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day, an 11-year-old girl was struck by a stray bullet in the face while in her room, after police say a man outside fired celebratory shots into the air with an AR-15. A suspect has been arrested and charged in this case.
“It’s outrageous just how many people are so stupid to be firing guns into the air,” Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said.
The chief addressed the issue on Wednesday, even reminding everyone about the day care that was hit by gunfire at North 34th and Penn avenues last month. No one was injured, but it happened during a Santa visit.
“Unfortunately, for too long, the sound of gunfire is all too common on certain blocks,” O’Hara said.
MPD is working with groups like MAD DADS to stop this behavior to protect innocent lives.
“It’s about doing everything we possibly can to drive this down,” O’Hara said.
“One of the greatest comments I heard was when a guy told me it feels good not having to carry a gun and look over my shoulder anymore, and that, to me, that’s success,” Borer Nelson said. “This is what we do. We want to help people to change their life.”
Across the river in St. Paul, police are investigating a shooting that injured a 10-year-old. Just before midnight Sunday, the boy was struck by gunfire in his stomach; he is expected to survive. Police say the shots came from outside the home.
“These are cowardly acts by selfish people, and we will find those responsible,” St. Paul Police Chief Axel Henry said.