ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman delivered his State of the City address Tuesday afternoon from the Penumbra Theatre. The speech follows a violent week in the city, with 9 shootings in the past 4 days – a spike in violence the mayor couldn’t ignore.
Mayor Coleman’s remarks on St. Paul shootings
“This past week, we have seen an explosion in gun violence across the city. Two young people are dead, others are lying in hospital beds. The perpetrators of this violence will be heading to prison. Too many lives lost. Too many parents grieving. Too many families shattered. While we have worked hard to stem this increase in violence, we need to increase our efforts to prevent it. While the best long-term strategy continues to be our investment in the education of our children, we must also meet this challenge with a strong and immediate police response.
“Our work is supported by strong community partners. Within minutes of the shooting this weekend in Indian Mounds Park, members of the African American Leadership Council, The God Squad and the Black Ministerial Alliance were on the scene helping out. Their actions put themselves in a dangerous situation, but they came because they know they need to be a part of the solution. I want to thank Reverence Spence and Tyrone Terrell and the leaders in the African American community for their assistance.
“Tomorrow, I will join Chief Tom Smith and leaders of the African American Community to stand together and call for an end to the gun violence that is plaguing our neighborhoods and parks. Immediately we will identify and prosecute the people who are indiscriminately shooting in our city. Ongoing, we will continue our work to get guns off the street and out of the hands of criminals. And as we do in St. Paul, we will come together to mend the fabric of our community that is torn when there is this kind of violence. On Thursday night, our wonderful volunteer committee that leads the Safe Summer Nights effort is working with our police and parks departments to have an impromptu gathering at Mounds Park – the site of Sunday’s shootings. I invite you all to join us for dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. and to stand together against gun violence.”
How St. Paul police are responding
The St. Paul Police Department is increasing patrols in neighborhoods that have seen 9 shooting in just 4 days, including 2 fatal shootings. Police spokesman Steve Linders says SPPD is also creating a response team to thoroughly investigate all reports of gunfire, including incidents with no injuries.
Mounds Park melee
Sunday night, police responded to a "chaotic scene" with as many as 300 people gathered at Indian Mounds Park. Officers found one man with apparent gunshot wounds, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Monday afternoon, a 24-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested in connection with the shooting. Tuesday morning, police identified the victim of the shooting as 18-year-old Bobby Davion Collins.
Magnolia Avenue shooting
Monday afternoon and evening, 3 shootings were reported in St. Paul, including a fatal shooting at an apartment building on the 400 block of Magnolia Avenue E. No arrests have been made in that shooting, and investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the homicide unit at 651-266-5650.