Minneapolis police deliver new basketball shoes to 12-year-old gunshot victim

Image 1 of 3

Minneapolis police officers made a special delivery Monday to lift the spirits of a 12-year-old boy who was shot in the knee outside his family’s home over the weekend.  

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday, Jamar Williams was heading to a nearby store with him mom and other loved ones when shots rang out on Irving Avenue North. One of the bullets struck Jamar in the knee. He was rushed to a nearby hospital. 

His family has said Jamar may have been targeted after witnessing some trouble across the street.

But, police are still sorting out what happened. A pair of investigators has been going door-to-door in the neighborhood searching for witnesses or any break in the case. 

On Monday, officers delivered a brand new pair of basketball shoes to Jamar. 

“We had an unfortunate incident where a stray bullet hit a 12-year-old,” MPD inspector Aaron Baird said. “Unacceptable anywhere. We just wanted to try and brighten the young man’s day.”

Jamar is doing better and he said the gifts help. 

“I played basketball for three or four years,” he said. “I just got to do therapy and stuff. Get my knee better.” 

In addition to the sneakers, MPD also gave Jamar a new bicycle and promised an upcoming trip to Target Field to catch a Twins game—all part of an outreach program led by Officer Mike Kirchen. 

“It’s rewarding to brighten a kid's day like this,” Kirchen said. “He went through a lot and a 12-year-old kid shouldn’t have to go through this. So, it’s really fun for us. And we hope it brought joy to the family.”

Jamar’s mother, Shawn Stewart, said it is going to be a long recovery process for her son. 

“I just want him to feel better and get better,” she said. 

Minneapolis City Council Phillipe Cunningham, who represents Ward 4, released the following statement regarding the shooting: 

“I have been in touch with child’s mother since I found out what happened. We can never allow a 12 year old child being shot be considered normal in our city. I’ve been connecting the family to community members and resources to meet their immediate and hopefully long-term needs. When people tell the story of violence and tragedy in North Minneapolis, they never share what happens afterwards. The Northside community has rallied around this family and has made sure they have food, gas, and supports in place. Folks from all over the community are tapping into their networks trying to find the resources that the family has requested. It’s tough times like these that remind me how proud I am to represent such a caring and responsive community.”