MPD denies report HCMC shooting began inside hospital

MPD denies report HCMC shooting began inside hospital

Just after 3 p.m. yesterday, shots rang out near the Hennepin County Medical Center. Nobody was hurt, though a vehicle was struck by a bullet. The hospital was locked down for a brief period of time.

The Star Tribune, citing comments made by Minneapolis Police Department Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, reports that "a group of people passing through the hospital entrance got into an argument with another group and somebody started shooting." But reached for comment this afternoon, MPD spokesman John Elder tells us that's not what really happened.

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Here's the MPD's official version of what happened, via a statement sent to us by Elder:

Shortly after 3:00 on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, two groups of individuals got into a dispute at a downtown intersection. This incident escalated into a shots fired situation with one vehicle being struck by a bullet. Additionally, HCMC also received some damage from gunshots. The suspects fled prior to police arrival. No one was hit by the shots.

This is an active investigation so no further information is available.

There is no tie into HCMC (other than geographic) and it was not a target in this incident. MPD continues to work with HCMC on their emergency protocols. HCMC is a safe place.

Asked about the discrepancy between the Strib's report and his statement, Elder says, "I'm very familiar with Lieutenant Zimmerman's statement and I stand by what I said. 

"They asked him a question, and took liberties with his answer," he adds.

We asked Elder if there was any connection between the shooting outside HCMC and a drive-by earlier in the day in south Minneapolis that left two wounded.

"There's nothing that links it to the incident off [38th and Oakland]," Elder says.

No arrests have been made in connection with either incident as this is published.

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

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