October 07, 2018 10:12 PM
A popular local musician and his girlfriend were victims of a violent crime Friday night in Minneapolis.
Aaron "Hix" Lee and Katie Szczepaniak were robbed and he was shot in the stomach around 10:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said the incident happened at 13th Avenue Northeast and Fourth Street Northeast in the arts & entertainment district.
Lee is best known as the bearded and beloved cowboy crooner. He sings and plays the guitar and piano for the Red Daughters, a Minneapolis-based band. They had a show at the nearby 331 Club in Nordeast when a vehicle pulled up alongside them as they were walking on the sidewalk and an armed stranger confronted them, according to Katie Szczepaniak.
"My chest immediately got tense and my heart dropped when he walked up to us," she said.
She said the suspect forced them to give up their phones, their wallets and almost Hix's life.
"I waved to a car, 'Please stop, my boyfriend's been shot,'" she said.
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She said one bullet hit Hix in the stomach but did more damage as it traveled through his body and stopped in a leg. Doctors said it will stay there for the rest of his life. Since Friday, he's had three surgeries and as of Sunday night, he can breathe on his own without a ventilator.
Hix faces a long recovery. He does gigs with the band at night, works as a painter during the day and is training to be an electrician. He doesn't have health insurance so the community is rallying to help support the couple and his medical costs. A fundraiser will be held this Saturday at 8 p.m. at Pizza Nea in Northeast Minneapolis. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to his cover the cost of his care.
There is no one in custody at this time, according to Elder. Police are reviewing another similar incident that happened to a couple a few minutes before Lee's ambush to see if there's a connection. Both sets of victims reported similar descriptions of the robber and getaway vehicle, a white Chevy blazer.
Tommy Wiita & Beth McDonough
Updated: October 07, 2018 10:12 PM
Created: October 07, 2018 01:06 PM
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