MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Survivors of last year’s mass shooting outside the Monarch Nightclub in downtown Minneapolis are sharing their stories with a jury.
Jawan Carroll is on trial for murder and attempted murder in a shootout with a rival that left two dead and more than half-a-dozen injured. Four of the injured took the stand on Tuesday, called to testify as witnesses by prosecutors. Doctors have said the death total could have been higher as millimeters mattered with some of the bullet wounds suffered that night.
One of those injured, Terrence Barnes reluctantly recalled the events of the shooting, his injuries, and recovery.
Others were more open about sharing the nightmares and post-traumatic stress they are still living with more than a year-and-a-half later.
That included25-year old Tatiana Cloud who was struck in the wrist, doctors report the bullet barely missed an artery.
Cloud told the jury, "Some days are better than others. It is a daily reminder that I survived something that I was close to not surviving. A little closer to my artery, I would not be here today."
Cloud testified she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, downtown, grabbing late-night pizza with friends when the bullets started flying.
"Everybody ducked, everybody started running different places," she recalled. "I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on. The bullets were so loud, super loud, very loud. I started running."
Killed in the gunfire were two men -- one shooter, Christopher Jones. The other was Charlie Johnson, a University of Saint Thomas grad-to-be, out celebrating with friends. He was fatally struck by a stray bullet about a block away.
His family has filled the courtroom gallery for several days during the trial that started with opening statements Friday. They are seeking justice, blaming Carroll for the tragic loss of their 21-year old son and brother.
Meantime, the defense has promised Carroll will eventually testify, to tell his side of the story.
He is arguing self-defense, that he only opened fire, fearing for his life when Jones, an armed rival threatened him and his buddies.
Carroll’s loved ones insist that means, he shouldn’t be held criminally responsible for what happened.
Mariyah Rivera, the mother of a couple of Carroll’s children told FOX 9’s Paul Blume at the courthouse, "Everything Jawan says is 100% true."
When the 25-year old Carroll eventually takes the witness stand, likely next week, one issue his legal team has so far successfully fought to keep out -- rap lyrics.
Prosecutors want to introduce lyrics of a song Carroll reportedly recorded less than a year before the deadly shootout.
Court filings claim Carroll talks about shooting up anyone who runs up on him with a .40-caliber firearm, which was the weapon used in front of the Monarch.
The state argues it shows this was not self-defense, that this was something Carroll had envisioned and rapped about.
The defense contends it is prejudicial material and has no place in front of a jury. Hennepin County District Court Judge Paul Scoggin agreed, ruling the song and lyrics are out.
The issue of rap lyrics being used against defendants, particularly black defendants, has become a hot button issue around race and justice across the country.
FOX 9 will continue to follow developments at Carroll’s trial. He is facing a total of 9 felony counts of 2nd degree murder and attempted 2nd degree murder. The shooting that took place around 2am on May 22, 2021 in a bustling downtown, just coming out of the pandemic shutdowns, was almost entirely captured on city and business surveillance cameras. It was Carroll’s birthday weekend. Johnson was graduating from UST in just hours when he was gunned down.