Man sentenced to 49 years for fatal shooting of pregnant woman near Floyd memorial in Minneapolis

Photos of Leneesha Columbus, a pregnant woman who was shot and killed, were placed at a memorial near the shooting site. (FOX 9)

Days after pleading guilty, a judge has sentenced a man to 49 years behind bars for the deadly shooting of a pregnant woman in south Minneapolis this summer near the George Floyd Memorial.

Zachary Robinson was sentenced on Friday for the shooting of the mother of his child, 27-year-old Leneesha Columbus, at 37th Street East and Elliot Avenue on July 5, 2020.

At the time of the shooting, Columbus was 26 weeks pregnant. After she was shot, Columbus' child was prematurely delivered and rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the baby died from complications.

Witnesses say Columbus was in her vehicle arguing with Robinson when she started to drive north on Chicago. Robinson fired shots at the SUV and then shot a man who confronted him.

Robinson also pleaded guilty to a separate incident in December of 2019 in which he was charged with assault for shooting a man outside Augie's in downtown Minneapolis. He will serve 51 months concurrently with the murder sentence for that crime.

The shooting raised safety concerns about the area near the Floyd memorial at 38th and Chicago. When police responded on July 5, they initially asked community members to move Columbus away from the memorial. When they learned that was not an option, officers moved to the scene, just a few blocks from 38th and Chicago.

In July, a police spokesperson said officers had been met resistance when responding to some calls near the memorial and they "we're being mindful of the fact that police presence isn’t necessarily wanted in the area."

However, officers said they were met with no resistance on July 5.