Neighbors recall chaos during Minneapolis mass shooting

As the community prepares for a solemn goodbye to Minneapolis police officer Jamal Mitchell next week, those who witnessed and survived the tragic events are picking up the pieces and trying to return to some sense of normalcy – including many living in the Blaisdell Avenue apartment building where the initial double shooting occurred, and where a frantic search for a possible second gunman unfolded.

"This lady comes out screaming, ‘Two people have been shot upstairs,’ Ravelle Dixon told FOX 9. "And I said, ‘What?’ Two people shot upstairs."

Dixon had just gotten home to his apartment last Thursday when fear and panic exploded around him. He was immediately evacuated, rushed outside, when he heard a deafening barrage of gunfire nearby.

"That kind of scared me, scared everybody, you know? And I said, ‘Oh, my goodness, I hope nobody is hurt’," Dixon said.

Dixon was stunned when he realized the initial double shooting that sparked the tragic sequence of events unfolded upstairs, in the unit right above his, in apartment #18.

"The bullet came from upstairs all the way down here," he said, pointing to what appeared to be a fresh bullet hole in his entryway ceiling. "I said, ‘Oh, man, I am glad I wasn't in here.’"

In addition to the bullet hole, Dixon found his front and bedroom doors had either been kicked in or rammed by law enforcement during a frantic operation to clear the building of any other potential suspects.

Recently released emergency dispatch records detail the chaos in Dixon’s building at 2221 Blaisdell Avenue – from a call reporting two shot inside apartment #18, to an update advising just after 5:34 p.m., "someone dead."

Minutes later, it is noted, the corridor is set up for EMS to evacuate victims from the rear of the building. 

And then around 7:55 p.m., two-plus hours later, a Saint Paul police SWAT team announced it was forcing entry into Dixon’s apartment with a follow-up moments later, "all clear."

Dixon is still shaken by the close call and is saddened to hear Officer Mitchell was ambushed and killed.

"I hate to see that. I hate to see somebody innocent get their life taken for no reason at all," Dixon said. "He did not deserve that. He did not deserve it at all."

According to public records released by the City of Minneapolis, crews were called in to board up 16 doors, including two metal ones, inside the 2221 Blaisdell Avenue apartment complex. 

Dixon told FOX 9, that he did not know the tenants in apartment #18 above him, only that he believed they had moved in just the last several months.