Minneapolis woman turns pain into power after losing fiancé to gang violence

A Minneapolis woman is turning pain into power.

Arica Shetka thought her life was over when her fiancé, Derrick Rodgers was shot and killed as a result of gang violence. It happened last May when gang violence was at a peak in north Minneapolis. But instead of being lost in grief, Arica made a choice to create a bright future for her and her daughter.

She wrote a novel, loosely based on the events surrounding her fiancé’s death. But, maybe most important was the hopeful, positive, can-do attitude she adopted. 

“Maybe this is my chance, maybe this is my calling and what I’m supposed to do,” Arica said. “I’m supposed to step up and kind of give them a light and a motivation to do something different because if I can do it they can do it.” 

And, that’s her message: to want change is one thing, but to make it happen you have to do something different.

She did. Arica moved to Las Vegas, but is back in Minneapolis for the release of her very first novel, The Rose Affair. The public book release is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Stella’s Fish Café in Uptown