Updated: October 20, 2021 06:14 PM
Created: October 20, 2021 04:17 PM
Tuesday night's shooting in Minneapolis left a 15-year-old in critical condition and marked the 54th person younger than 18 to be shot in the city in 2021.
The victim was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and had surgery Tuesday night.
The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) says the teen was shot near the intersection of 40th Street East and Columbus Avenue at around 6:45 p.m.
That intersection is next to Phelps Park, and the Minneapolis Park Police Department (MPPD) says a youth football game was just wrapping up there when the teen was shot.
"The impacts of violence on our community members, and our park users, are always concerning and they're always tragic," MPPD Chief Jason Ohotto said.
Ohotto's department isn't in charge of the shooting investigation – that is led by MPD – but said a park police officer was at the game. He said the football team coaches had asked for the officer's presence.
"[The officer] arrived on scene within seconds," Ohotto said about his officer responding to the shots fired. "[He] was able to provide first aid that likely contributed to the saving of life."
Of the 54 people younger than 18 to be shot in Minneapolis this year, MPD says seven of those young boys and girls have died.
"That is exceptionally frustrating that people are losing their lives losing [and] their feeling of safety," Celia Mccoy, who lives near Phelps Park, said.
"It feels like there's nothing that we as community members, and as citizens of the city of Minneapolis, can do," Mccoy added. "I don't know what that solution is – it's not my job to figure out that solution. My job is to vote for people who can come up with that solution."
Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins sent the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS regarding Tuesday night's shooting:
"There is simply too much access to guns for very young people in our communities. My heart goes out to the young victim and his family. We as city leaders must create more opportunities for young people to engage in positive, productive afterschool activities. Parents must take more responsibility for their young people who are perpetrating much of this violence, destroying and disrupting their own lives before they really get started. This must be an entire community effort, we cannot rely on police alone. I will continue working with groups like Summit OIC, Sabathani Community Center, PPL, Renewable Energy Partners and anyone else to create job training programs and job opportunities as well as mentoring and support programs in South Minneapolis."
A representative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there aren't any plans to put youth activities on hold following the shooting.
No one has been arrested in the case at this time.
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