In between gunshots in north Minneapolis

- One north Minneapolis neighborhood was impacted by two shootings within 24 hours. But after the bullets, and before they came again, there was investigating, grief, anger and eventually an appearance of normalcy.

Here is what happened on Wednesday and Thursday in between gunshots in north Minneapolis.

Death at a church

The first shooting happened Wednesday evening near Emerson and 30th Avenue. The victim was a 19-year-old. Friends say the bleeding, expecting father, Elyja Larkin, walked into the nearby church and bled to death.

“He was just laying there in blood, and I was talking to him in his ear," Vernessa Wright, who found Elyja in the church, told Fox 9. “I was just telling that I loved him and how he still needed to be here for his baby and his mother and his grandmother. Because he was a good child.”

Elyria died in the church. Vernessa still has his blood on her glasses, a reminder for her that it is difficult to see the future of the community without blood.

Friends say Elyja was good, not perfect. And like in any community, north Minneapolis is full of good, but not perfect kids. Only here, too many die.

“I have a lot of kids around here who call me momma. I try to be what I can to them because they all need help," Vernessa told Fox 9. “I mean why does this have to keep on happening. This is crazy. This needs to stop.”

Vernessa said Elyja had helped her in the past when she suffered seizure, and she was glad she could comfort him during his final breaths. But wishes his mom was there.

Bullets near a baby

Not even 24 hours later, a drive-by shooting happened at Lyndale and 27th Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Four people were inside a car, including a baby. The man inside was the only one hit, and is in critical condition at North Memorial Hospital.

“Can we at least have a week? Let’s start with a week. Then we work into months. Let’s have a week of non-violence. Then let’s go two weeks, three weeks. A month,” an angered James McGhee, standing near the bullet scarred car, told Fox 9.

Following the shooting, Minneapolis police officers were back at a crime scene gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. A baby seat was removed from the car.

“It’s been a busy 24 hours,” a tired Inspector Michael Friestleben said. “We ended our night that way, and then the shooting today.” Friestleben said violence had been down on the north side, but only recently picked up.

After the crime tape came down, and the victim’s car was towed away, another car immediately parked in the same spot, covering the broken glass. People emerged from their homes. Any sign of violence was gone.


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