Nizzel's death capped off string of gun-related North Side incidents, prosecutors say

Two teens face first-degree murder charges in connection with Nizzel's death.
Two teens face first-degree murder charges in connection with Nizzel's death.

The June 26 killing of 5-year-old Nizzel George (his father's last name is now being used after earlier reports said the boy's name was Nizzel Banks) brought a string of gun-related incidents on Minneapolis' North Side to a grim conclusion, prosecutors say.

It began on June 25, when a 15-year-old boy with the street name "Funny Mo" pointed a gun at two teens in a North Side gas station. Funny Mo allegedly became upset when he overheard the teens talking about how he was from the "other side." Hours later, five shots were fired at a home, 4501 Camden Ave. N., where Funny Mo was hanging out with 17-year-old Stephon Shannon.

Shannon lives at 4501 Camden with Jamica Holden, the mother of his friend Juwon "Skitz" Osborne, 16, who was shot and killed in an unsolved murder last September. Holden told police Skitz's friends have been calling themselves the "Skitz Squad" and spending a lot of time at her house.

Shannon and Funny Mo believed people from the 4515 Bryant Ave. N. house where Nizzel lived were responsible for the shots fired at Holden's home. In the criminal complaint, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Susan Crumb writes that "neighbors in the area told the officers of conflicts between individuals who frequent the two addresses."

"Defendant was angry and believed that people associated with 4515 Bryant Ave. N. were responsible," she wrote.

About eight hours after Holden's house was shot at, two gunman strafed 4515 Bryant -- located two blocks away from Holden's home -- with bullets. One of them hit Nizzle in the back while he slept on the couch, killing him.

According to a witness quoted in the complaint, Shannon admitted to the shooting, saying he "made peace with God and was sorry about the baby." Another witness said the second gunman was Funny Mo. Shannon denies ever making that statement.

Shannon has been charged with first-degree murder. Funny Mo faces the same charge, but hasn't yet been certified to stand trial as an adult.

Though North Side leaders like Pastor Jerry McAfee of New Salem Baptist Church have urged police to track down the shooters who fired at Holden's home, it appears Funny Mo and Shannon won't be helpful, despite the fact they were there at the time of the shooting.

In the complaint, Crumb writes that during an interrogation by investigators, Shannon said he knew who shot up Holden's home, "but would not tell the officers."

And regarding the still-unsolved murder of his friend Skitz, Shannon told investigators "if he knew who killed [Skitz] he would not tell the police, but would take care of it himself."

Previous coverage:
-- Nizzel Banks' father, Nizz, beat up his girlfriend's 2-year-old after the boy wet his pants
-- Ninzel Banks, 5, killed by stray bullet in north Minneapolis [UPDATE]

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