MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Fears over the increase in crime at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis were felt again on Thursday after a man was shot.
The shooting comes a day after the Minneapolis park board voted to limit the number of tents in the encampments in the park.
"He saw the guy pull out like a silver-plated gun like out of his waistband," said one neighbor. "So he knew trouble was coming."
Seconds later, the man in the vehicle was shot. Police say he was injured but expected to survive. However, the shooting served as another example of growing criminal activity around the encampment. An increase in incidents at Powderhorn was part of the reason behind the park board’s vote to limit the number of tents to 25 in 38 Minneapolis parks. In Powderhorn, the process of going from 560 tents to 25 has started by kindly asking them to leave. Boardmember Londell French estimates 40 have done so.
"There’s a way to make you safe," he said. "There’s a place for you to be safe at. Try to encourage folks to leave I think that’s the best way."
But even with the compassionate effort, many point out that pushing people experiencing homelessness to other parks isn’t a long term solution.
"Who truly is in the best position to meet the needs that are present in our community and beyond?" said Tabitha Montgomery with the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association. "And I think that squarely and solely sits on the shoulders of the people who have had the wherewithal to get themselves elected and to maintain power and influence."
But, for now, it’s the park board trying to fix a crisis. There’s no moving day deadline and it’s not clear what will happen if the campers refuse to leave.
"I think we cross that bridge when we come there; I don’t want to put in any absolutes," said French.