After shooting near Minneapolis park, youth football league moves remaining games

A Twin Cities youth football community is grappling with how to keep players safe after a shooting in Minneapolis.

Just before 7 p.m. police said shots rang out near the intersection of 40th Street East and Columbus Avenue South, just steps from Phelps Park.

At the same time, a youth football game between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center was underway at the park. The victim, a 15-year-old boy, had gone to the park to watch his little brother play when he was shot.

A day later, the south Minneapolis field is empty and the shooting leaves the youth league’s commissioner with some tough decisions to make.

"The people who assist me with administering the league, we decided this morning that we can’t schedule anymore games in Minneapolis for the remainder of the year."

Although playoffs only last about a week, the Twin Cities North Football League says none of the games will take place in the city.

"Because, quite frankly, the other teams won’t go," said.

Just this past June, another youth team had to seek shelter when bullets started flying over the field in Jordan Park. That team has since found a new field for practice.

But John Swanson, who also coaches Fridley High School, hasn’t given up on the city just yet. Instead, he's working with the Minneapolis Park Board and various community leaders to find solutions.

"It’s disheartening," he said. "It bothers me to no end. But all I can tell you there are a lot of good people that are working -- and were working before this happened -- to make this better."

The family of the victim from Tuesday’s shooting is asking for privacy. No arrests yet made in the case.