Exasperated cops seek help in case of north Minneapolis 10-year-old hit by stray bullet


This spring and early summer has already been a violent season for Minneapolis.

The number of shooting victims through the first five months of the year nearly double the rate in 2015 (123 this year, versus 65 last), according to a recent Star Tribune story. And that was before last night.

The worrying trend continued with four people shot in north Minneapolis Sunday evening, each of them winding up in a city hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the AP reports.

Cops report north Minneapolis residents are terrified of the violence and feel helpless, saying they're afraid to let their kids roam outside the house. In one recent incident, not even that was enough.

Police are offering a reward for any useful information that leads to an arrest in the shooting of a 10-year-old girl, who was in bed on the night of May 5 when shots peppered her home on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North. (It's the same block where two police officers clashed with Jamar Clark last November, ultimately shooting and killing the 24-year-old.) 

One bullet hit the girl in the foot, tearing a nasty hole, and she was fortunate to escape without further injury. The Minneapolis Police Department posted a gruesome image of the injury — along with a photo of the hole where the bullet passed through her bedroom wall — on Sunday as part of a plea for public assistance solving the case. 

"This case, like many others," reads an accompanying statement from police, "is exceptionally concerning to the police and the public as the shooter gave no regard to the people or property in the path of the bullets that were fired at their intended targets. We have seen instances where innocent bystanders pay the price for the shooters' complete lack of regard for those who may be victims to their reckless and criminal behavior."

That description matches the tragic killing of Birdelle Beeks, a grandmother and beloved North Side resident who was recently shot when her minivan was caught in the crossfire of a dispute that had nothing to do with her. Beeks, 59, was killed; the 16-year-old granddaughter in the car with her was unharmed. 

No arrests have been made in the Beeks shooting, which happened in late May. 

The police statement regarding the shooting of the young girl notes that there were "numerous people" outside the girl's home at the time she was shot. 

If one of them, or anyone else who knows something, feels compelled to bring her shooter to justice, police are taking tips at the CrimeStoppers hotline, 1-800-222-TIPS, or information can be texted anonymously to 274637.