Two charged in fatal shooting of a 16-year-oldby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged two people with first-degree murder Wednesday for the July 4th shooting that killed a 16-year-old boy.
Kenneth Johnson, 16, and Ryan Loyd, 20, each face two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder committed for the benefit of a criminal gang.
Due to the nature of the charges, Johnson will automatically be charged as an adult.
Witness told police that Johnson and Loyd travelled to the 2900 block of Fremont Avenue North on July 4 to settle a gang dispute, according to the criminal complaint.
Police allege that the pair drove to the area in an SUV with several other people. When they spotted 16-year-old Anthony Titus and his friends, Johnson and Loyd allegedly jumped out of the vehicle, fired several shots at the group, and fled.
Police say the alleged killers shot Titus once in the torso. He ran a nearby backyard and collapsed.
When police arrived at about 8:45 p.m., Titus was declared dead at the scene. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled that he died of a single gunshot wound.
The criminal complaint does not list Titus as a gang member, but states that at least one of the people he was with that night belonged to a local gang.
Deputy Chief Rob Allen declined to comment on the specific gangs involved.
"The reality is [that] is isn't a gang that killed another gang," Allen said. "It's an individual who killed another individual ... One of the sad truths with gangs is that they get glory for having their names mentioned in conjunction with homicides."
Allen said that investigators made the arrests after community members provided information to police.
"Frankly, but for members of the community who came forward with information, we wouldn't be able to solve these things," he said.
When asked about what he would tell neighbors concerned about their safety, Dolan said, "They should be less concerned because a couple violent people have been locked up."
He added, "The bottom line is Minneapolis remains a relatively safe city, but as with parents everywhere, they should be aware of where their kids are and who they're hanging with."
Johnson will be transferred today from the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center to Hennepin County Jail, where Loyd is already being held.
Johnson is scheduled to appear in court Thursday. A initial court appearance for Loyd has not yet been announced.