Bloody Minneapolis gang war ends with guilty plea

- After more than 20 shots were fired at the Hennepin County Medical Center back in 2014, the fight has finally ended with Percy Lacey’s guilty plea.

A feud between two south Minneapolis street gangs – the Bloods and the 10s - resulted in convictions for those involved along with one case of permanent paralysis. Lacey will be sentenced Monday and is expected to receive 225 months in prison, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office. 

During his court hearing Tuesday before Hennepin County District Court Judge Gina Brandt, Lacey pleaded guilty to two crimes, second-degree assault and attempted murder for the benefit of a gang. In the aggravated assault, Lacey shot and wounded D.L on Aug. 19, 2014.

According to the criminal complaint, D.L. was “walking west on 37th St. near Chicago Avenue with two other men when a Chevy Tahoe slowed down and fired multiple shots at the group. One of Lacey’s bullets struck D.L. in his leg. A rod had to be surgically inserted because the bullet shattered his bone.”

Not long after, on Aug. 28, Demetric and Allen Smith were walking west on 38th Street and had just passed Oakland Avenue when they heard a man yell, “What’s up, Blood?” and saw Vysean Johnson driving by in a red SUV. Johnson reached across and fired multiple shots out of the passenger window. Allen Smith was struck in the hand and Demetric Smith was hospitalized with a lower back wound, the complaint said.

Later that day, a number of Bloods came to the Hennepin County Government Center because they heard that their 10s enemy, Lacey, was in one of the courtrooms. A few of the Bloods were in line to be screened before taking the elevator up to the courtroom when another Blood told them Lacey was getting on an escalator to leave the government center. Several of the Bloods then ran through the skyway level of the government center and down the escalator to chase Lacey, who sprinted away outside.

Lacey ran back inside and sat down on a public bench near a Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputy, forcing the Bloods to circle but never approach Lacey. The Bloods left and walked towards the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Shortly after, Lacey and other 10s learned that members of the Bloods were visiting their friend Demetric Smith at HCMC and arrived there not long after the Bloods arrived.

According to the criminal complaint, “Lacey’s pride was hurt over being chased around the government center, and he posted on Facebook that he wanted to ‘dance’ with the Bloods, but they ran away.” As part of Lacey’s plan, Andrew “Boo Boo” Peterson stood outside the hospital in order to lure the Bloods out of the hospital.

The Bloods, who were unarmed, then began fighting with 10s including Vysean Johnson and Peterson. Johnson, as he was being punched, yelled for Lacey to “air them out.” Lacey was standing on Eighth Street just west of Chicago Avenue and fired at least 23 shots, according to the attorney’s office.

No one was struck, but bullets damaged a window, two of the building’s signs and sent employees running for cover. While pleading guilty to attempted murder, Lacey admitted Tuesday that he was a member of the 10s gang and that he fired multiple shots when he saw the Blood members near the hospital door.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office obtained indictments against seven gang members last year, including Peterson and Lacey. In February, Lacey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Recently, he was sentenced to 140 months in federal prison. This runs concurrently with the state’s expected 225-month sentence.


Lacey’s co-defendant in the HCMC shooting, Vysean Johnson, will be sentenced Nov. 8. He pleaded guilty last month to two counts of attempted murder, one for the shooting of Demetric Smith and one for his role in the medical center shootout.

Johnson was paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot at the MotoMart on Hiawatha Avenue on Sept. 23, 2014. No one has been charged in that shooting.

In addition, the attorney’s office charged Rashard Jamal Ashmead, Thomas Terrell Madison, Dennis Paul Riggins, Sylvester Romell Jernagin and Unique Tenee Manning with third-degree riot for chasing Lacey in HCMC.

According to the attorney’s office, Ashmead pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, Madison pleaded guilty to the riot charge and Jernigan’s charge was dropped in exchange for him pleading guilty to third-degree burglary.
Riggins’ charge was dropped in exchange for him agreeing to accept 15 months in prison for violating his probation on a domestic assault by strangulation conviction. Manning’s case was dismissed by a judge.

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