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Sunday, June 22, 2008

1 dead, 3 hurt in shooting outside St. Paul after-hours gathering

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Blogger Bob said...

St. Paul shooting leaves one man dead, three others injured. A fearful neighbor heard dozens of shots.

By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune

Last update: June 22, 2008 - 3:39 PM

One man was killed and three were injured in a shooting early this morning outside a building at the corner of Milton Street and Concordia Avenue in St. Paul. The building has for years operated as an "after-hours" club in the neighborhood alongside I-94.

St. Paul police and paramedics were called to the building at about 2:40 a.m., finding a large group of people standing on the street and two shooting victims lying on the ground. Paramedics treated the two victims and transported them to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where one of the victims died. Officials have not yet released the name of the dead man.

Officers later learned that two other shooting victims were taken from the area and transported by private vehicles to area hospitals. The condition of those two victims is unknown.

On Sunday afternoon, with the incessant drone of traffic from the freeway in the background, Michelle said she was sitting at a table inside around 2:30 a.m. when she heard the sound of gunshots, and then bullets striking the building. She did not give her last name, saying she was afraid of being identified for safety reasons.

"You could hear them hitting the door. They weren't going through," she said of the bullets.

After hearing about 10 shots, Michelle said she and others in the club ducked under their tables. "Then it stopped for maybe two minutes, then there were six or seven more [shots]," she said.

Michelle said people were kept inside the club until police arrived. When she stepped outside, she saw two men lying on the ground and an ambulance preparing to take them away. She said she didn't recognize the men.

"This is ridiculous," she said. "This doesn't make sense at all. I mean, it's just crazy."

A man and a woman who came to the club Sunday afternoon declined to answer questions. And several neighbors refused to speak about the incident. One woman said she was afraid to open her door more than a crack.

But another neighbor and the mother of three young children said she is frustrated and frightened about what is happening in her neighborhood. She, too, did not give her last name, saying she fears for her safety.

Brenda said she was lying awake in bed early Sunday. The noise of people partying outside the club kept her awake. It often does, she said.

"Usually, there are a lot of people out there," she said. "This place, all summer, is pretty hot and hopping."

Then, "I heard the gunshots. I called the police. A lot of people around here don't call the police," she said. "They don't care."

Brenda said she heard a total of about two dozen gunshots, sounding as if they came from two different guns. Then she heard squealing tires as a car or cars sped away. The young mother looked outside to see a man in the street, bleeding. Dried blood stains the sidewalk near her house. She said a trail of blood led into her yard, where police also found a shell casing.

Six weeks ago, she said, there was another shooting a few houses down the street in the other direction. "I'm in the crossfire here," Brenda said.

All four victims are males in their mid- to upper 30s and all are believed to be residents of St. Paul, police spokesman Peter Panos said. The motive of the shooting is unclear. There have been no arrests.

Brenda, who has lived near the club for more than five years, said she's weary of the crime and of the apathy.

"I think I'm going to move," she said. "People on this block just don't care."

Staff writer Rodrigo Zamith contributed to this report. James Walsh • 651-298-1541

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of you went to after hour joints?
If so, then you know what they are about.

2:55 PM  

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