Family of pregnant woman killed in Minneapolis: ‘IT HAS TO STOP’

The family of Leneesha Helen Columbus, the pregnant woman who family confirms was shot and killed in Minneapolis Sunday night, is calling for an end to violence. 

The woman’s uncle, Charles Dillion, released this statement saying: 

“This horrendous killing & cowardly act is an example of the pandemic of domestic violence & violence against women. IT HAS TO STOP! Quarantine has shown a rise in domestic violence calls. My niece was a beautiful creative soul and she deserved to live. We need to raise these men better. Women & children are sacred.” 

Minneapolis Police say the shooting happened around 9:15 p.m. Sunday near the corner of 37th St. and Elliot Ave. Columbus, 27, was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center that night. Her unborn child was delivered and admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Dillon confirms the baby is doing OK. 

A spokesperson for Minneapolis Police says shortly after Columbus was taken to the hospital, a second gunshot victim arrived at the hospital on their own. Police say the adult male suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police believe the two shootings are connected. 

“There was a second victim that walked into HCMC about the same time. Investigators tell me that shooting is linked somehow to this case. It’s unknown at this point, and they’re investigating what that link is,” Officer Garrett Parten, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department said.

The shooting happened about one block northeast of 38th St. and Chicago Ave., the site were George Floyd was killed on May 25. The site has become a memorial. Parten says over the last few weeks, officers have been met with some resistance while responding to calls in that area. 

“We’re being mindful of the fact that police presence isn’t necessarily wanted in the area. We have experienced calls where there’s been significant resistance [to] officers responding and even interfering with some of the life-saving efforts of emergency personnel,” Parten said. 

Parten said initially police had asked community members on the scene of the shooting if they could move the victim out of the immediate area. He says after they learned this was not an option, they responded to the scene. He says on Sunday night they were not met with resistance. 

“We had community people involved in providing medical aid and even assisting officers on the scene. So it was quite the opposite last night where we saw some support rather than resistance in that particular area,” Parten said. 

Police say no arrests have been made. The Minneapolis Police Homicide division is investigating.