Shootout by U of M captured in videos; teen injured

A pair of videos capture more than 30 seconds of near-continuous gunfire from a shootout that left a 15-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the leg in an incident that occurred late Friday night by a troubled, rundown property near the University of Minnesota campus.  

A bystander filmed the first video, which appears to show the victim, and a security camera in a back alley by the property filmed the second video, which shows a fleeing crowd and then a young man firing a handgun while other gunshots ring out in the distance. 

A student-run Twitter account following crime in U of M area, @WatchDogUMN, posted the first video that was taken bystander. MPD would not comment on the unverified video, but it appears to be taken of the area in question around the time of the shooting.

The video shows several people running from the area as gunshots ring out. As the shooting continues, it shows a figure walking on the sidewalk, pans away and then pans back to show the same person now laying on the ground, apparently in pain.

The second video was sent to Fox 9 and other media outlets anonymously.

 It shows young people running away while an exchange of gunfire can be heard in the distance. One woman says, "Oh hell no!" as she flees. Another young man calls out his friends' names, evidently worried.

Then, a young man in a white jacket pauses by the corner of a building, pulls out a handgun, extends it above his head and fires a shot before fleeing.

As another man in a blue hoodie turns back to look in the direction the shot was fired, a male can be heard saying, "Don't shoot at us!" and he replies, "I'm not, I'm not."  Then more gunshots ring out, and the young man in the hoodie runs off the screen.    

Minneapolis police officers were called to the  1721 University Avenue late Friday night at about 11:20 p.m. on a report of a large crowd causing a disturbance and fights breaking out. Officers found a 15-year-old boy in the backyard of the residence with a gunshot wound to the leg, according to a press release from the Minneapolis Police Department. 

Numerous gunshots were heard in the area as officers were arriving on the scene, which MPD said turned chaotic with people running from the crowd in all directions.

A growing problem by a ‘nuisance’ property 

Escalating crime by the rundown property now has the attention of city officials, university leaders and multiple police departments.

"It’s just kind of been like a war zone on weekend nights," Phi Sigma Kappa President Ben Thompson told FOX 9 on Saturday. He was in bed next door when shots rang out overnight. 

"It’s been a nuisance, it’s just been kind of crazy," Thompson said.

Friday night’s shooting is only the most recent in a wave of violence neighbors say the home brings every weekend. Police dispatch data shows problems in the area almost nightly, at least 35 calls just in the last month.

"It’s just random people showing up and causing havoc," Thompson said.

Four of the surrounding frat houses say they’ve written letters asking the City of Minneapolis to take action. They’re also regularly calling the police and contacting the University of Minnesota, but they say nothing has worked.

"We’ve felt like we can’t do anything about it," Thompson said.

The university last told FOX 9 that it’s aware of the issues and deeply troubled by what is happening. It’s their understanding that no current students or employees live in the building. 

The property owner, Student’s Cooperative Inc., claims the people living there were squatting; and as of Saturday they’ve been evicted, "It seems like finally now they’re leaving, for good," Thompson finished.

The Minneapolis Police Department has also installed security cameras across the street from home and increased patrols in the area.