MPD Chief Harteau on weekend shootings: We "urge people to put their guns down"

The Minneapolis skyline as seen from the North Side.

The Minneapolis skyline as seen from the North Side.

During the early morning hours of July 5, Minneapolis's 15th and 16th homicides of the year occurred. As was the case with the city's 13th and 14th homicides late last month, both murders were north Minneapolis shootings.

In total, five people were shot during the wee hours of Saturday morning, including the two who died. The outburst of violence prompted Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau to "urge people to put their guns down."

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"The late evening hours of July 4th and the early morning hours of July 5th were particularly violent in our city," Harteau says in a statement. "Our officers responded quickly and professionally. We take these incidents very seriously and are working diligently to apprehend those responsible for these senseless deaths."

"It is important for the residents of Minneapolis to know that the two homicides we are investigating are not random and are in no way related," she continues. "Having said that, we are concerned about the level of violence and urge people to put their guns down and find another way to resolve personal conflicts."

Mayor Betsy Hodges asked people to pray:
-- Betsy Hodges (@MayorHodges) July 5, 2014 The first July 5 incident occurred around midnight at 3442 Dupont Ave. N., where officers found 28-year-old Cabrie Young dead. Two other victims were taken to North Memorial hospital, one with "a severe wound to the forehead," according to the police report. A suspect was arrested in connection with that incident but his/her name is still being withheld as of this morning, police tell us.

The second incident occurred just before 5 a.m. on the 2600 block of North Third Street. That shooting left 24-year-old Francesca DeSandre dead and another woman with "serious injuries," police say.

MPD spokesman Scott Seroka tells us that despite their proximity in location and time, Minneapolis's four most recent homicides "all seem to be isolated incidents, unrelated situations."

"The belief of investigators is that the suspects and victims knew each other," Seroka says.

There were 36 murders in Minneapolis last year, down from 40 in 2012.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.