Shooting one block from Minneapolis school during open house

A woman was shot in the back Thursday afternoon near the intersection of Lowry Avenue and Penn Avenue in north Minneapolis. The shooting happened at about 4 p.m., just one block from Lucy Laney Community School, in the middle of an open house that br

- A woman was shot in the back Thursday afternoon near the intersection of Lowry Avenue and Penn Avenue in north Minneapolis. The shooting happened at about 4 p.m., just one block from Lucy Laney Community School during an open house that brought kids and their parents to the school.

The victim's injuries are not considered life-threatening. No arrests have been made.

At this same school, students heard gunshots during a summer program last month and created a memorial after a 2-year-old who was shot and killed while riding in a minivan.

Backed up by her staff, Lucy Laney Principal Mauri Melander said they feel abandoned to deal with the violence that surrounds them at 33rd Avenue and Penn Avenue.

“The next day it looks the exact same on that block as it did yesterday, so there's nothing that looks differently today that doesn't tell me there won't be another shooting today, tomorrow, Sunday or Monday when the kids come for the first day of school,” Melander said.

Together, they’re calling out city officials and police to do more.

Facebook post from Lucy Laney Principal Mauri Melander

“Today there was another shooting on Penn Avenue. This one was during our Open House. I'm going to repeat that. There was a shooting during our Open House. Meaning, while children were being shown their new assigned seats, people were trying to kill each other with guns and ammunition. In broad daylight. Across the street from an elementary school. While hundreds of children and their parents are parking and walking into the school, people are firing weapons to kill. Anyone who tells me that we are nothing but alone in this battle - but for the help of God - is a liar. There is no way that a civilized society with advanced degrees and expertise can justify a reality such as this. I am not afraid. Don't get me wrong. I'm angry. I won't run away. I haven't before. I won't start now. I will run into. But as I run, I'm shouting. And I'm pointing fingers. To the ones pulling the triggers, shame on you. To the ones who know who they are but don't say anything, shame on you. To the ones elected and appointed to lead, shame on you. To the ones able to hold these leaders accountable, but have not, shame on you. And to the ones who've allowed a society to create the depth of hopelessness that produces such a reality, shame on you. You have no part in our joy. You have no part in our hope. You have no part in our love. You have abandoned us like fish gasping for air out of water. You have turned and looked the other way. May sleep not come easy to you tonight. May peace elude you. Until you are compelled to act. And may you do that. May you act. Please. May you act.”

Response from Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden

“All over the city many of us attended our school's open houses last night -- I did too at Lyndale School. This is so beyond the pale, but it is a continuation of what has been happening -- shots fired with major impacts to all around (and there is a major impact to all around even if no one is hit with a bullet, and there are so so many instances of our residents being hit with bullets). What we are doing is woefully inadequate. We have to keep people safe - this is a key city responsibility. We can't just feel safe ourselves, in whatever corner of the city we live in, we have to know that all are safe, in all corners of the city. I think folks are working hard to turn this around - the police, the county officials, the community members, and on and on. There are strategic responses that are happening to stop this crime. There are investments happening that haven't happened for a long time (thank you Thor Construction, thank you all behind Wirth Coop, and there are many more examples). But clearly, clearly we need a turnaround. We need to do this together, we need all in. I'm in.”

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson agrees -- what's happening in her ward is reprehensible.

“I'm surprised they feel abandoned,” Johnson said. “That's one of the hot spots where there is a lot of patrol -- not just from our police officers, but from Metro Transit.”

Minneapolis Police increasing police presence

Minneapolis Police will be increasing their presence in the Folwell neighborhood. According to a press release, that three block area by the school has been a focused zone since the beginning of the year. So far this zone has had 200 business checks, 19 community engagement meetings, 312 directed patrols and at least 67 traffic stops, which led to numerous arrests.
 
While Lucy Laney was not the intended target of the shooting, police are planning to have extra focus zone patrols, additional beat officers at the school to supplement the already assigned school resource officer, and additional officers working the area on overtime.

Backpacks with school supplies donated

Fox 9 was at Lucy Laney at the time of the shooting to celebrate a donation of 550 backpacks filled with supplies for the upcoming school year. The backpacks were donated by Minnesota Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren and his wife, who teamed up with the Kids in Need Foundation. This is the 5th year every student enrolled at Lucy Laney has received a donated backpack, and the principal says it means a lot.

“There is an immense amount of pride in this community, immense amount of hope, but also an immense amount of stress,” Melander said. “And sometimes the added stress of preparing for school -- getting together backpacks, schools haircuts, uniforms -- is just that added stress. So whatever opportunities we can take advantage of, if there are people out there that are so moved to help elevate some of that stress."

School starts in Minneapolis on Aug. 29.


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