Boom Island gunfire wounds 8; ‘several’ in critical condition

Gunfire at a park along the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis wounded eight people, some of them with critical injuries, officials said Tuesday.

The shooting occurred about 11:30 a.m. Monday at Boom Island Park, just south of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge, said Park and Recreation Board spokeswoman Robin Smothers.

No arrests have been announced.

“There was no formal July 4 event or fireworks in the park or on the river,” Smothers said in an email, “but park visitors gathered on their own at Boom Island and other parks to celebrate the holiday.”

Smothers said “several [were] in critical condition. “She did not have information about the victims’ identities or exactly how many were among those with critical wounds.

A park police incident report listed four people with a “major injury,” with three of them 18 years old and the other 22 years old.

HCMC spokeswoman Christine Hill confirmed early Tuesday afternoon that downtown hospital received eight people from the Boom Island incident. Hill declined to reveal any of their conditions.

“After shots were fired, the large group that had gathered in the park dispersed, many leaving prior to police arriving,” Dawn Sommers, another Park Board spokeswoman, said late Tuesday morning. “A majority of the shooting victims later arrived at local hospitals on their own, where police were notified by the hospitals.”

Neither Park Board spokeswoman had information about the circumstances surrounding the gunfire. They said that anyone with information about the shooting should call park police at 612-230-6550.

Dan Zeller, whose home overlooks the park, said a bullet came through the main living area, ricocheted off the kitchen island and “got lodged in the back of our couch.” He and others inside were elsewhere in the house at the time.

Zeller said he went down to the park about 30 minutes before the shooting and saw what he described as “pretty chaotic scene of people coming in and out of the park. … People were shooting fireworks at each other and also normally in the sky . … It was one of those things. People just kind of show up, and it becomes a spectacle. “

He estimated that up to 1,000 people were there at one point, with “the vast majority of people having left before the gunfire began. Zeller said he reviewed his home surveillance video and counted” pretty close to 100 shots. “

The Boom Island shooting marks the city’s bloodiest incident since two men opened fire outside the Monarch nightclub downtown around a bar close in the spring of 2021, killing two people and injuring eight others.

The city logged two mass shootings in June 2020: The first during a brawl in a north Minneapolis bar that escalated into gunfire that hit seven people. Later that month, gunmen unleashed a torrent of bullets on a bustling stretch of Uptown, wounding 11.

The deadliest attack in the city occurred in 2012 at Accent Signage Systems, where a former employee fatally shot six people before turning the gun on himself.

City Council Member Elliott Payne, whose ward in northeast Minneapolis is near Boom Island Park, called the shooting there indicative of the availability of guns in Minneapolis and other cities.

“If they were not so pervasive, maybe these events would play out differently,” Payne said.

Payne said he and other council members have been discussing what they can do to reduce the number of guns in the community.

“We should all be disturbed by this type of violence happening,” he said. “It’s not acceptable, and we’ve got to get a handle on this.”

Staff writers Liz Sawyer and Andy Mannix contributed to this report.

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