Shots Fired Near George Floyd Memorial Square During Anniversary Of His Killing
Witnesses say they saw an argument break out between people in several SUVs prior to the shooting.
May 25, 2021 at 9:30 pm
At least one person was shot during a tribute ceremony on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death on Tuesday, just feet away from the spot he was killed in 2020 by Minneapolis police.
The Minneapolis Police Department said they received reports of shots being fired near a street in a part of the city known as George Floyd Square. According to NPR, posts on social media also indicated that shots were heard in the area.
Moments later, a person was rushed to Abbott Northwestern Hospital with a non-fatal gunshot wound, the Los Angeles Times reports.
During the shooting, a tour bus was riddled with bullet holes and stray bullets ripped through a nearby window as people scrambled to safety. Pedestrians and cyclists, who were several blocks away, said they recalled wondering if the loud noise was firecrackers.
Witnesses said they saw a verbal altercation ensuing between a number of people in several SUVs in an alley near the square at the time of the shooting.
Parent Mileesha Smith, who was in the alley at the time of the shooting, said she was on alert due to a recent swell of violence in the neighborhood and grabbed her two sons almost instantly.
“My kids are 5 and 8 and just experienced their first shoot-out,” Smith, equipped with a bulletproof vest, said. “My anxiety is through the roof. What just happened is why we are here. We are dying, not just by the police. We can’t even have a nice moment without someone trying to kill us.”
Violence and crime in the area have spiked since Floyd was killed by former officer Derek Chauvin.
After a series of violent occurrences, including the death of a 30-year-old man who was fatally shot in March, neighbors have banded together to patrol the square themselves.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 31 people were killed this year in the city, more than double last year’s numbers.
Following the traumatic incident, the teaching staff at a nearby high school suspended a student field trip to George Floyd Square. While many community members decided against bringing their children to the square after school as planned, there were a number of people who decided to observe the event in memory of Floyd.
“It didn’t keep us away,” Dupree Logan, a retired minister who drove in with his wife from a nearby suburb, said. “We don’t walk in fear.”
Melissa Monroe, 36, brought her 16-year-old son, who was taking photos for a journalism class, and 7-year-old twin daughters to the square even after the shooting.
“Even with what happened this morning, we’re still thriving,” she said
Police said the incident is under investigation, and they have not been able to confirm if the shooting is connected to events in the area commemorating Floyd’s death.