MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis Police are searching for at least two men involved in a gun battle in broad daylight on Monday, that sent a 6-year-old girl to the hospital with a gunshot wound.
Police officers rushed towards the sound of gunfire at the intersection of East 24th Street and 18th Avenue South around 5:15 p.m. According to investigators, the 6-year-old had been riding a bicycle with her family when two men began shooting guns at each other across East 24th Street. The girl was trapped in their crossfire and hit by a bullet, before being rushed to Hennepin Healthcare, where she’s expected to survive her injuries.
"It’s a tragedy in our community when young individuals are not able to actually enjoy themselves as children and [instead] become victims of gun violence," Farji Shaheer with Innovative Solutions said on Tuesday. "It’s getting difficult because we are having younger victims, but we also are having younger perpetrators."
Less than 10 miles away from Monday’s shooting, on Tuesday at 36th and Penn community members took over the street with a violence prevention event organized by Farji Shaheer’s organization Innovative Solutions. Last year, 6-year-old Aniya Allen was shot and killed by a stray bullet at 36th and Penn.
"We’re in an immediate community trying to create a safe space for individuals from the community to come out and just engage with one another," Shaheer said.
The block was shut down for a few hours on Tuesday to create a safe space for kids to play; and to promote peace, and encourage community members to speak out against recent violence in the city.
"By having these kinds of events we show the force of the community and that the neighborhood can actually be peaceful at certain times," Shaheer finished. His "block takeovers" will continue every two weeks until the end of October, and organizers plan to target neighborhoods throughout the city’s Northside, as far north as 53rd and as far south as Glenwood.