Fireworks fired at vehicles, buildings and people for hours overnight in downtown, northeast Minneapolis

Gunfire and the launching of unofficial fireworks as weapons around Minneapolis from Monday night to Tuesday morning created chaotic scenes, including at a Mississippi River park where gunfire at a huge rally holidays injured eight people.

The spate of incidents has not only proven dangerous for those involved in the chaos, but has also endangered the well-being of people who live amid the incidents at Boom Island Park, a section of the northeast of Minneapolis near Interstate 35W and a densely populated part of downtown.

At least one person was jailed and another injured after vehicle passengers fired fireworks at buildings and people for hours on Tuesday morning during the downtown disruption.

A police officer was injured and a woman was jailed in connection with the chaos near 2nd Street and Portland Avenues, where many apartment buildings are located, according to a police report.

Also overnight, a similar incident occurred about 3 miles to the northeast, where people aimed fireworks at buildings as street runners made donuts while onlookers stood close enough to put their well-being at risk, according to a nearby resident. who recorded some of the behavior.

Also late Monday, gunfire at a gathering of up to 1,000 people in the late hours of July 4 hit eight people at Boom Island Park, according to a spokeswoman for the Park and Recreation Board. She said “several” of the injured were in critical condition.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Minneapolis Police Department has yet to comment or release further details about the chaos downtown or in the Northeast.

Officers responded to the downtown incident in a bid to “clear the area of ​​parties who had been there for hours firing fireworks at pedestrians, apartments, vehicles and businesses”, indicates the report.

During the downtown violence, “there had also been reports of shootings and violent crime,” the police report continued, without giving details.

Police dispersed those involved and took a 23-year-old Savage woman into custody at around 2.30am where she awaits charges on suspicion of assaulting an officer and obstructing police. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they are charged.

The assaulted officer suffered an “apparent minor injury”, the report noted.

“It looked like 2nd Street towards Portland was at ground zero,” said Star Tribune editor Paul Klauda, ​​who lives near where the long-running mayhem unfolded and estimated it started around 10:30 p.m. Monday.

There were “kids running, driving, shooting fireworks at cars, buildings, people,” Klauda said, “cars rolling down 2nd Street in both directions, turning around , kids hanging around, shooting fireworks.”

Klauda said “booms echoed off the buildings, giving it a surreal vibe. At times, children would hop in and out of cars, sometimes appearing to rearm with fireworks. One of the first times cops got presented – without much attendance, so it didn’t change much of the night – someone threw fireworks at the police car.”

Police arrived three times, but “things started up again after they left” the first two times, he said.

Tribune of the Stars
Video (00:58): Stinson Boulevard was the scene of drivers doing donuts as onlookers stood nearby. Other people nearby were launching fireworks by aiming them at buildings. [Video by Karyn Entzion]

In northeast Minneapolis, condo resident Karyn Entzion said people in a crowd of about 150 fired fireworks at her as she recorded video from her second-floor balcony. floor as cars spun wildly and tires squealed.

“They were intentionally shooting them at the roof of my building,” said Entzion, who lives in the 700 block of NE. Stinson Blvd. “I had to run. And they weren’t little fireworks. They were huge rocket launcher fireworks.”

She said fireworks were fired from the rooftops of at least commercial buildings and a three-story parking ramp.

Entzion said the area surrounding his apartment was plagued with street racing and vehicles doing donuts for much of the year.

“Yes, it’s property damage,” she said. “But the way they drive, they’ve gotten more and more daring.

“Someone is going to get seriously injured. People stand very close to cars and people drag out of cars. All it takes is a little mistake. They absolutely hit cars.”

Minneapolis Downtown Council Chairman Steve Cramer, commenting on the incidents in Downtown, Northeast and the late night shooting on Boom Island that injured eight people, said: “The chaos was unacceptable. Restoring order is the first responsibility, and the resources just weren’t there last night. It reflects our challenge in a city with a depleted police department.

Cramer, who in his role as a representative of downtown business interests, has long advocated for increased police strength in Minneapolis. He said recent events offer further evidence that city leaders must have the ability to quickly call on other agencies — such as the State Patrol and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office — to help. quell violence when it breaks out.

If unsafe behavior goes unchecked, Cramer continued, it will continue to erode downtown residents and guests’ sense of safety. “It is certainly not the image that we want to give to our region,” he said.

Star Tribune staff writers Liz Sawyer and Andy Mannix contributed to this report.

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