A shooting at a funeral in Minneapolis and back-to-back homicides in St. Paul over the weekend have loved ones and investigators grappling with ongoing violence across the Twin Cities in the new year.
Within about 24 hours in St. Paul, two women were killed in separate incidents. One woman was fatally shot during an argument in the North End neighborhood and another woman was beaten to death in nearby Como neighborhood. Suspects have been arrested in both cases.
St. Paul police have reason to believe both cases were a result of domestic violence with arguments leading up to the homicides. Police spokesman Steve Linders urged women in abusive relationships to seek help.
"Sadly in these cases, it's too late for the victims," Linders said. "Maybe someone is out there that will see this and know there is help available. ... They don't have to suffer in silence or alone and continue to be victimized. "
The St. Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project is available around the clock at 651-645-2824. Those outside Ramsey County can call the Minnesota Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 1-866-223-1111.
The beating death of the St. Paul woman on Sunday was the city's fifth homicide this year and the third in a week.
St. Paul is outpacing the number of homicides in Minneapolis, which recorded its third homicide Thursday in a drive-by shooting that killed a man and injured two others.
"The last two years have been incredibly tragic," Linders said. "Two years ago, we tied the record of homicides. Last year, we broke it. And this year already we've seen five people lose their lives. So it's something that we just need to disrupt."
On Sunday around 3:30 a.m., police were called to a "disturbing scene" on the 1400 block of Dale Street N. An unresponsive, badly beaten 67-year-old woman was pronounced dead and her husband, who was at the home when police arrived, was arrested and booked at Ramsey County jail on suspicion of murder.
A 35-year-old man also was booked at the jail in connection with the Saturday morning shooting in St. Paul's North End neighborhood that killed a woman in her early 30s. She was found lying on the sidewalk with a wound from a gunshot that a 911 caller reported after hearing an argument in the 40 block of Lyton Place.
The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects until charges are filed.
St. Paul's annual record for homicides had been 34, a high set in 1992, but in 2021 the city recorded 38 homicides. Minneapolis recorded 97 homicide in 2021, tying the all-time record set in 1995.
Over the weekend, a double shooting at a funeral luncheon in Minneapolis on Saturday critically injured two people after a man arrived and started an argument at Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center. The man fled after the shooting at the wellness center, where about 100 people had gathered for lunch after the funeral service.
"There seems to be a lack of sensitivity to the sanctity of life and that leaves many aching for understanding as to how something like this could happen," said Minneapolis police spokesman Garrett Parten. "It's family and friends gathered to honor the life of someone who has passed. It's wrong."