Little Earth Residents Protest after 13-Year-Old Shot in Head

October 10, 2017 10:34 PM

A 13-year-old boy is in the fight of his life.

The teen, whose family doesn't want him identified, is in critical condition in the hospital after being shot in the head Monday night.


RELATED: 13-Year-Old Boy in Critical Condition after Little Earth Shooting

It happened just before 11 p.m. in the 2400 block of Ogema Place. An officer in uniform, was working off-duty and heard the sound of gunfire. So did tribal member Bill Jones.

"I could hear the bullets go over my head, so I crouched down and waited," he said.

Authorities say the shooter took off.  Officers are reviewing video from surveillance camera's to see if anything helpful was captured.

On Tuesday, Native American activists demonstrated their anger on Cedar Avenue Tuesday in the heart of Little Earth. 

For an hour, they blocked traffic at Cedar and 25th.

"We sang, saged people down, shut down the road. We did all of these positive healing things to push away the negative," said James Cross, who organized the event.

Protests are almost as much a part of their community's tradition as pow wows. The members, who are from 32 different tribes, often struggle to get along with each other, even more so with outsiders who they believe bring gun violence to their compound.

Minneapolis city records showed aggravated assaults, which include shootings, are up nearly 22 percent this year over 2016 in south Minneapolis. The number increased Monday night when the 13-year-old came under fire. 

With three shootings in one night, within blocks of each other, locals such Bill Jones, suspect they are related and will trace back to gangs. 

"They're fighting for turf here to sell their drugs because they know there are users," Jones said.

That's another dark reality of Little Earth's life-long struggle. Members understand one bullet can kill, at the protest they prayed last night's won't.

Minneapolis police believe the suspect and the victim knew each other. The gunman is still at large. 

What is Little Earth?

  • According to the Little Earth website, the community was founded in 1973 to create affordable housing.
  • Nearly 1,000 residents live in the south Minneapolis community. 
  • Little Earth touts itself as the "first urban housing complex with Native preference," which became a national model for such developments.
  • Little Earth is managed by four organizations in a "unified management structure."
  • The 2010 census reported 78 percent American Indians are living in urban settings. 


Beth McDonough

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