Police searched late Wednesday for at least three suspects they say are responsible for the fatal shooting of a young father and the wounding of another man near the Little Earth housing complex in Minneapolis.
The victims were struck by gunfire just after 11 p.m. in the 2400 block of S. 18th Avenue. The surrounding complex, home to dozens of three-story townhouses, has long been the heart of the Twin Cities’ American Indian community.
Officials and relatives online identified the victim as 27-year-old Billy Campbell. His death was the city’s 39th homicide of the year and continued a surge in shootings since the unrest after the killing of George Floyd on May 25.
And while the pace of violence has slowed in recent days, the city’s gunshot victim tally so far in 2020 has already eclipsed the entire annual totals of all but one of the past 10 years.
At least two other people were injured in separate shootings on Wednesday, including a 17-year-old boy who was struck by gunfire near Glenwood and Knox avenues.
The recent upswing in shootings has become part of a fierce debate over the future of policing and public safety in Minneapolis, as elsewhere, sparked by Floyd’s death in police custody.
City leaders have sought help dealing with the crime spike from federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Secret Service.
At the scene of the most recent homicide, officers strung up yellow police tape to cordon off parts of the street where the shooting occurred, as police searched the area.
A State Patrol helicopter joined the search for suspects a short time later, flying slow circles over the area before landing at a St. Paul airfield, according to FlightAware.com, an online flight tracking service.
Jolene Jones, former board president of the Little Earth Residents Association, livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Bystanders were seen tending to a man who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to his arm.
Minutes into the video, Jones was told that a second victim had been found nearby, and she and others rushed over and found him facedown in a street next to the curb.
A group of paramedics and police officers appeared moments later and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, believed to be Campbell.
Another bystander’s video posted online captured onlookers hugging and consoling one another next to the crime scene, their voices occasionally drowned out by a woman’s cries of “He’s all that I had!”
By Thursday afternoon, Campbell’s Facebook page was filled with posts from family and friends, grieving for another life taken too soon. Campbell was married and had three children, ages 7, 5 and 2, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his wife.
“[Y]our smile will forever echo through my head rest up bro gone but never forgotten,” one person wrote.