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‘All Around Me Is All This Chaos’: North Minneapolis Residents Say They’re Living In A War Zone

16September 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The repetitive sound of gunfire continues to plague Minneapolis’ North side community. The constant sound of gunshots, some sounding like automatic weapons, rang out late into the night.

And on Thursday morning there were more gunshots, a juvenile struck and shots fired near an elementary school — all before noon. Residents say they feel as though they’re living in a combat zone.

Marques Armstrong and Nekima Levy-Armstrong are processing living with gunfire at night, and waking up to bullets being fired near their home.

“Every day something is out of control several times a day, and there is no end or relief in sight that I can see,” civil rights advocate Levy-Armstrong said. “We heard multiple gunshots, back-to-back. And it sounded very, very close. It felt like we were in the midst of a war zone.”

The Minneapolis Police Department says, shortly before 10 a.m., a juvenile was walking on the sidewalk near 26th and Lyndale when a car drove by and opened fire. He was hit but is expected to recover from his injuries.

“All around me is all this chaos, all this death and all this violence, so I want to do all I can to help our community keep our hope,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong is a mental health professional who says his practice is flooded with people seeking help to deal with the trauma associated with the gun violence, trauma even for community leaders as WCCO’s interview was interrupted by the sound of gunshots.

“Right now we are being placed in a situation where we are being told we have to decide between terrible police, corrupt police or no police,  when really many in our community want a happy medium,” Levy-Armstrong said. “People are also feeling abandoned. You call 911, you don’t know if anybody is going to show up.”

Near 50th and Bryant, outside Jenny Lind Elementary, two cars engaged in a running gun battle Thursday morning.

The ATF is looking into an increase in altered guns in the community. Auto sears are used to turn semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic ones.

 

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