Seventeen-year-old Alisha Neely was hanging out with a big group of teenagers at a house party at 3501 Humboldt Avenue North on Saturday when she took a fatal bullet in the neck. Police don't know why -- yet. They tell the Star Tribune that Neely was likely an innocent victim of a homicide -- the city's 10th this year -- and they're working the case hard to come up with answers and an arrest.
In the midst of this sadness and chaos, Strib reporter Matt McKinney unearthed a telling detail on how violence is woven into the fabric of this northside neighborhood when he interviewed 19-year-old Kenneth Dillard, a guy who identified himself as Neely's sometime boyfriend.
"She said, 'I'm hit, I'm hit!' and she just fell," Dillard told McKinney, who then reminds readers:
Three years ago, Dillard was the prime suspect in the shooting of Charez Jones, 14, killed as she walked home from a birthday party. Dillard, at the time a member of the Tre Tre Crips gang, according to police records, was allegedly shooting at rival gang members when Jones was hit. He was to stand trial as an adult, but was freed in 2008 when a new witness stepped forward to suggest that someone else was the shooter. Several other witnesses in that case had recanted earlier testimony against Dillard.
A cruel exclamation mark was tagged onto Neely's death on Sunday, when mourners who gathered Sunday at the site of the shooting were forced to scatter as shots rang out again. Who fired the gun? Nobody's saying. Thankfully, nobody was injured.
Only a few blocks away, at 38th Avenue N. and Dupont Avenue, mourners had also gathered Sunday to pray for Drew Heinkel, the city's 9th homicide victim. The 29-year-old was stabbed to death there on Feb. 13.
And later Sunday, at about 10:30 p.m., two teenagers were shot while riding aboard a Route 22 bus headed north on Humboldt at 53rd Aves. N. About a dozen riders were aboard the bus when roughly a half-dozen shots rang out, according to Metro Transit spokesman. The two victims were taken to North Memorial Medical Center.
Location Of Alisha Neely's Shooting
2010 Minneapolis Homicides:
- February 27: Alisha Neely, 17
- February 13: Drew Heinkle, 25
- February 4: Michael Fonta, 45
- January 17: Marvin Ray Maynard, 16
- January 20: Orlando Keith Nunn, 21
- January 8: Walter Lee Dolley Jr., 19
- January 6: Abdifatah Warfa, 28
- January 6: Mohamed Warfa, 30
- January 6: Anwar Mohammed, 31
- January 2: Dontae D. Johnson, 31