Increase of bullets at crime scenes concern police as Minneapolis homicides rise

Minneapolis police investigate a shooting at Clientele Barbershop near N 41st Ave and Lyndale Ave N in Minneapolis. (FOX 9)

Wednesday afternoon saw a tragedy that's become all too common near downtown Minneapolis.

Crime scene tape, evidence markers and investigators covered the 1800 block of Third Avenue South after a man was found shot to death.

This latest shooting marks the city's 69th murder so far this year. At least three of those victims have been children.  

"We had 97 murders in 1995. That was a bad year. I'm sure we had similar feelings during that period of time," said Minneapolis Police spokesman Garrett Parten.

Over the last decade, Minneapolis has averaged 45 murders per year, but it's not just the number of shootings police are worried about now. It's the number of bullets being fired at each deadly scene.

"The level of gunfire, the number of shots at each scene, whether it's quote on quote 'automatic' or just multiple people shooting...that is on the increase and that is concerning," said Parten.

Residents of north Minneapolis, where many of the shootings have taken place, have noticed a difference, too.

"Living in northside, there's always some shootings sounds like a Call of Duty game," said resident Tyler Pelischek.

"I really do love living over here. It's just that this is very worrisome and we need help," Pelischek added.

An increase in the use of auto sears could be part of the problem. The St. Paul Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says they started seeing the use of the illegal device, which turns a semi-automatic into a fully automatic weapon last winter. The number of cases they're investigating has spiked over this spring and summer.