A shootout early Sunday at a Minnesota bar apparently involving several gunmen left one woman dead, at least 14 people injured and prompted panic and “madness” amid the hail of bullets, St. Paul police said.
Three men were arrested later Sunday and were being treated at a hospital for injuries, Saint Paul Chief of Police Todd Axtell said. There was no motive immediately.
Axtell stated in a statement, that he spoke with the relatives of the victim and were left “absolutely devastated”.
“Hearts are broken – victims, families, community and officers,” he said. The SPPD’s exhausted men and women are a source of pride for me. We’ll bring Justice for the victims.
Axtell said multiple 911 callers frantically begged for help after more than a dozen people were shot inside the Seventh Street Truck Park bar. He said officers responded at about 12:15 a.m. local time to find a “chaotic scene” with 15 people suffering gunshot wounds.
Officers worked with good Samaritans to help the wounded while securing the scene and making sure it was safe for medics, Axtell said. He said that preliminary information had shown there were multiple shooters at the scene.
A woman in her 20s was pronounced dead, the 32nd homicide of the year in St. Paul, a city of 300,000 people. It is expected that the number of homicides in this city surpasses last year’s record of 34, which was held for close to 30 years.
“My heart breaks for the woman who was killed, her loved ones and everyone else who was in that bar this morning,” Axtell said. “In an instant, they found themselves caught in a hellish situation.”
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death and positively identify her. The wounded were transported to area hospitals for treatment but were expected to survive, Axtell said.
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John Maloney, a Pioneer Press reporter said he was inside his Oxbo Urban Rental apartment above the bar when the gunfire rang.
“All of a sudden, I lost count, I heard multiple gunshots, pop, pop, pop, pop,” he said.
He went out on his patio overlooking the bar and saw a “mass influx of people” pouring out onto the street.
Maloney stated that “people were shouting, hollering, yelling, and running all around,” “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Steve Linders, spokesperson for the police said there was no shortage of people at the var. However, we did have a couple who chose to use guns and fire the trigger randomly without any regard for the lives of others. It was a poor, innocent woman enjoying herself. One minute she’s dancing, smiling and laughing, and the next she’s dying in her friend’s arms.”
Melvin Carter, Mayor of Melvin Carter stated that the “shocking scenes” left the community devastated.
“Our work to build more proactive and comprehensive public safety strategies is more urgent than ever,” Carter said on Twitter. “We will never accept violence in our community.”
Rep. Betty McCollum pledged to work with community leaders to get guns off the street and out of the hands of criminals.
“The epidemic of gun violence plaguing the Twin Cities has hit us in St. Paul with a mass shooting event that can only be described as a horror,” McCollum said in a statement. “We must never allow this kind of criminal act to happen again.”
Investigators made a public appeal for any information. A team of investigators working together with the patrol officers, the forensics service unit, and the video management unit to determine what caused the shooting was Axtell stated.
This scene was processed as evidence, and the reconstruction of the shooting was done. The victims were being interviewed for clues, Axtell said.
“I want them to know that we have the best investigators in the country, and we won’t stop until we find the people responsible for this madness,” he said. “We will do our part to hold them accountable.”
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