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North Minneapolis homicides: Two unsolved murders within week, one claims father of nine

The Minneapolis skyline as seen from the North Side.
The Minneapolis skyline as seen from the North Side.

Last month, City Council President Barb Johnson, who represents a good chunk of north Minneapolis, unloaded on her colleagues and city staff for spending their time on things like studies about racial inequalities instead of public safety issues, especially in her part of the city.

The pertinence of Johnson's remarks tragically made itself evident once again in recent days, as the city's 13th and 14th homicides of the year took place in north Minneapolis on Saturday and Monday. Both cases remain unsolved, though Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder tells us investigators have leads and are "actively pursuing the investigation."

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Around 1 a.m. Saturday, officers responded to a report of shots fired on the 4900 block of Camden Avenue North. Upon arrival they found an adult male who had been shot. He was transported to North Memorial Medical Center, where he died later in the day. (The victim's identity hasn't been released as this is written.)

Then, around 10:45 p.m. Monday, 37-year-old married father of nine Steve Martin was shot in the neck on the 3300 block of Penn Avenue North while he tried to break up a street fight. He died at North Memorial early Tuesday.

Tyrone Hutchins, Martin's boss at the construction company he worked at, told the Star Tribune he "can't believe it."

"Dedicated, a good father, a hard worker, funny. Nice to everybody," Hutchins said. "He was always a person that would calm situations down."

Elder tells us "there are no links between the two [incidents], I can tell you that."

While the north Minneapolis murders highlight Council President Johnson's concerns about public safety in the area, the city as a whole is on pace to experience a decline in the number of murders for the second straight year. There were 36 murders in the city last year, which was down from 40 in 2012.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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