An elderly Minneapolis man became a crime statistic as violence soars and police remain short staffed.
Source: Kyle Hooten
An elderly man was caught in the crossfire and shot in the neck as two vehicles exchanged gunfire earlier this week in Minneapolis.
The shooting occurred on the 3100 block of James Ave North in broad daylight around 3:30 p.m. on April 25. A police spokesman confirmed that while an elderly bystander who was walking on the sidewalk near the shooting was struck, he survived, according to journalist Michael Tracey.
“I watched the elderly bystander being wheeled into an ambulance as he was bleeding out,” Tracey reported, after he arrived at the scene of the incident.
“I’m hurt because I just witnessed a man shot in his neck,” said a woman whom Tracey interviewed. “My take about this is it’s crazy. Like people is getting killed for no reason. Innocent people.”
After the dust settled, investigators were heard on a scanner saying the number of spent casings on the ground was “too many to mark.”
While this event may be shocking, it is not unique. In the first month of 2021 alone, the rate of people getting shot in Minneapolis rose 250%, according to WCCO. The city now sports a significantly higher property and violent crime rate than Chicago, doubling the national average in the latter category.
The 2020 Minneapolis murder rate was over 100% higher than the 2019 murder rate, according to MPR.
Police officials attribute the crime wave to a surge of civil unrest that rocked the city following the death of George Floyd.
However, as the violence increases the police response seems to be on the decline. Only 41% of murders in the city are ever solved, according to Charlie Adams, who heads up the Fourth Precinct.
The reason for the low clearance rate seems to be a lack of officers. “We’re down a significant number of investigators,” Adams told the Associated Press. “I don’t see me getting replacements in the future as people continue to leave the department.”
The Minneapolis Police Department is presently operating with 30% fewer officers than it has in the past, per the Star Tribune.
Meanwhile, many cops see no reason to stay on the force. “The morale in the department is the lowest I’ve seen it in almost 30 years,” one cop told Insider. The reported reason for the morose outlook: bad city administration.
“I’ve never seen such a weak form of leadership,” the officer added. “There’s no support from our leadership. We’re a sinking ship, and I’m not going to be on it.”