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In the wake of back-to-back mass shootings over the weekend, Minnesotans grieved, prayed and feared.

One mother worried: Are my children safe to go to crowded events? A college student enjoying a quiet afternoon with a friend felt a familiar worry: Will these shootings just further desensitize? And Twins fans leaving Sunday's game passed by extra officers, including members of the SWAT team, some wearing long guns.

"I like when I see their presence, but it's also scary [and] sad that you have to have that," Kelsey Kading of Prior Lake said about the increased Minneapolis police presence at crowded venues.

St. Paul police said they, too, have heightened vigilance but haven't put more officers on the streets.

In Minneapolis, police will be more visible across the city, said spokesman John Elder.

"In light of recent events nationwide, the Minneapolis Police Department has joined the decision of many other major cities to increase the police presence in places where there's a congregation of individuals," Elder said.

For those in the Mexican-American community, the response to the weekend's deadly mass shootings brought anger and fear mixed with collective grief, particularly because the El Paso shooter appears to have targeted their community.

"It makes us worried about whether we should let our kids go out to festivities," said Nancy Vasquez, a bartender at El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul. "[But] you can't keep sheltered at home, either."

Federal authorities said they will treat the El Paso shooting, which left 20 dead and more than two dozen injured, as a case of domestic terrorism because the shooter posted racist and anti-immigrant messages. The second rampage less than 13 hours later killed nine people at a nightclub in Dayton, Ohio.

Mia Cazares' phone buzzed with the news alert about the first shooting on Saturday afternoon. Looking down at the headline, the 20-year-old's first thought was: "Oh my gosh, another one."

And then, the following morning, after hearing of those killed in Ohio, she had another thought: "I'm afraid people are getting desensitized," she said as she sat in a pocket of shade on the U campus Sunday.

Reactions on St. Paul's West Side, home to a large Mexican-American community, ranged from anger to sadness Sunday. The Rev. Andrew Brinkman, the priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, included prayers for those killed in El Paso at both Spanish-language masses.

Many connected the violence against the Latino community in Texas to President Donald Trump's rhetoric.

Susana Rodriguez of Rosemount said she was angry when she heard of the shooting. "People have been changing since Trump has been president," she said.

She recalled recent incidents in Rosemount when she was told by strangers to "speak English" to her child or to go back to her country, she said.

As she handed out raffle tickets after church, parishioner Debbie Luna said she wasn't afraid but angry. "There's so much prejudice now. It's worse than it's ever been," Luna said.

Luna hoped the focus would shift to emphasizing the contributions of Mexican-Americans to U.S. culture. "We're festive, happy people," she said. "We're not the drug dealers that somebody likes to paint a picture of us."

As she left church, Krystell Theisen-Escobar said the shootings were "not something that should happen in our country at all. It's not American," she said. "It's cowardice."

Nearby, residents gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of El Burrito Mercado, a restaurant and market owned by the Silva family. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter stopped by with a proclamation.

Mentioning the El Paso shooting, he said the city was stronger because of its residents' many languages and cultures. He called it "tragic" to hear negative, divisive messages from Washington, D.C.

"We have to do what we can at the local level," he said.

For Cazares, who was home in the Twin Cities before returning to Florida State University to study sociology, the shootings will likely mean a fall semester of class discussions about systemic reforms to reduce gun violence. She wonders, too, whether students will again have to watch a video about what to do if they encounter a mass shooter.

Sitting with Cazares for a quiet afternoon before both return to college, Nadine Manske, 19, said the calls for reform make her hopeful. Young people are paying attention, she said, even if they're getting news of shootings by scrolling through social media.

"There's an understanding that we have to take this issue on," she said. "It's not a choice anymore. We know it can happen anywhere."

Erin Adler • 612-673-1781 Mara Klecker • 612-673-4440